The Wonder of the Sea Toward an Ethic of the Seas

Increased human population magnified by modern technology is endangering the seas to the serious detriment of all life on Earth.  Religion must step up to address this serious threat to God’s creation, a task that the NRCCC feels called to. 

At this time, groundwork is being laid to develop an “Ethic of the Seas” that will do forward to develop within the religious institutions and their people an ethos of nurture, protection, and appreciation of the ocean.  Advocacy for regional, national, and international public policy will be better developed and implemented as with religion leading support.  Our present tasks, then, are to (1) uncover the spiritual values inherent within God’s creation that is the seas, (2) to develop an ethic consonant with our faith, (3) to understand both science and society within the context of the seas, and (4) to implement a faithful response through education, public policy advocacy, and our own personal and corporate lifestyle.

The Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign is now up and running. NRCCC is pleased to be a partner with this Campaign. We refer you to its website for news, information, and how you can assist.

Links to selected Resources, News, and Events are below:

Declaration on the World's Oceans by Patr. Bartholemew

Anglican Archbishop of Polynesia Winston Halapua on "Moana Methodology"

"Toward a Sea Ethic" by Carl Safina

"A Sea Ethic: Floating the Ark" by Carl Safina

The Ocean of Life, and the Sorrow Beneath the Sea (Newsweek, reprinted Daily Beast)

Scientists Warn that Oceans are in Great Peril (by David Jolly---NY Times)

"We Must Care for the Oceans" (Larry Schweiger, CEO of National Wildlife Federation)

Vatican Conference on "The Law of the Sea" (2011; 1979) pdf

Ancient Civilizations used Sustainable Fishing Methods (Science Daily, March 2012)

Ending the Oceans "Tragedy of the Commons" (Scienc Daily, September 2012)

FishWatch is a site maintained by NOAA for responsible seafood consumption

Beluga Whales at Risk from Oil/Gas Drilling (Center for Biological Diversity, May 2012)

Plastic in Great Pacific "Garbage Patch" (three short articles)

U.S. Coral Species are on a Path to Extinction by 2100 (Environmental News Service)

Recovery of the Lost Art of Ocean Navigation (pdf)

Forging an Ocean Ethic on Cape Cod (by Peter Borrelli, Cape Cod Baywatch, 2004)

Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe on Effect to the Ocean (Makiko Sagawa, ENENEWS)

Earth's Water-stressed Nations are Stealing Against the Future (Guardian, June 2011)

Are Oceans on a Collision Course? (by Tom Philpott in Mother Jones Mag., June 2012)

Ocean Noise Pollution

Acidity in the Oceans Rising (2012)

Damage to Oceans to reach $2 Trillion a Year

56 Corals in U.S. likely to vanish by 2100

Oceans and Coastal Development

Massive firing of Canada's ocean scientists is alarming

Toxin-contaminated Salmon poisoning Killer Whales in Canada

Of Metaphysics and Polynesian Navigation by James Barr (2009)

A Conservation for The Ocean (Leon Panetta, 2003)

Testimony of Sylvia Earle to the U.S. Commission on Oceans (2002)

Tikkun HaYam: Saving the Sea (by David Krantz, Green Zionist Alliance, 2013)

Tehillat HaYam: A Psalm of the Sea (by David Krantz, Green Zionist Alliance, 2013)

Brit HaYam: A Covenant with the Sea (by David Krantz, Green Zionist Alliance, 2013)




The Earth is the Lords and the Fullness thereof...
God has established it upon the seas.

Psalm 24:1,2

Dove of Peace over the Waters

[We] must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it…. Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean's existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories.

- Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997)


The Consequences of Climate Change to the Oceans
Panel Transcript at COP-22 at Marrakesh, Morocco
November 11, 2016
(includes statements by Fred Krueger, Richard Miller, Mr. Mark Bryant, Dr. Kyle Van Houtan, Dr. Nigel Crawhall,
Dr. Dr. Charles Kennel)

 National Ocean Policy (Final Recommendations document is particularly useful for framing the major U.S. ocean issues):

Final report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (which concluded in 2004; articulates many of the major U.S. ocean challenges; this effort paved the way for the work of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force that developed the National Ocean Policy):

Pew Oceans Commission (which concluded in 2003; final report "America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change" articulates many of the major U.S. ocean challenges; this effort also helped to pave the way for the subsequent development of the National Ocean Policy):

Draft National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy (which articulates climate impacts and adaptation options for marine systems and other natural systems):


Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Sea Web

Ocean Conservancy



Restore America's Estuaries

Ocean Economics Project

National Capital Project

National Capital Project - Coastal Belize project

PISCO - the science of marine reserves

Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (information on value of

marine ecosystems to UK, current and projected impacts of climate

change, actions and plans to increase resilience)

Season's End (coalition of hunting and fishing interests calling for

action on climate change)

Blue Carbon portal (information on carbon services of coastal and marine

habitats - and need to conserve them)