UN Environment has partnered with internationally acclaimed cartoonist, Jim Toomey – of Sherman’s Lagoon fame – in developing a series of short videos to raise awareness of the importance of oceans and the coastal environment. The videos use animation and humor to explain, in clear and simple language, the role that oceans play in our lives and our very survival.
Our activities, even far inland, impact the health of the ocean. Toxic products entering the wastewater system and plastic litter make their way to the ocean, threatening the very survival of marine animals, while fertilizers washed into streams and rivers enter the ocean, creating vast dead zones. In the end, every community is an ocean community.
Dive tourism is increasing at a rate of nearly one million new divers every year. Great news for the dive industry, but what about potential impacts on coral reefs and marine ecosystems? Watch this video to learn how divers and snorkelers can enhance environmental and economic sustainability through the Green Fins certification program.
Almost 2 million children under the age of five die each year due to water-related diseases. In addition to this ongoing human tragedy, unmanaged wastewater destroys aquatic environments worth trillions of dollars in goods and services. The video shows the impacts of wastewater on human health, water bodies and coastal ecosystems, and highlights how valuable wastewater can be when adequately managed.
Sea levels are rising at an increasing rate, threatening coastal communities with floods and storm surges. At the same time, ecosystem health is being weakened, leaving shorelines less able to protect communities from impacts. This video illustrates how coastal communities can restore natural resilience and adapt to sea level rise.
The use of fertilizers in agriculture has increased the productivity of our farms. However, this increase has come with a price. Fertilizers and other chemicals end up in our streams and rivers, and eventually in our oceans. The run-off from these chemicals creates algae blooms that result in dead zones and destroy our corals, fish and mangroves. Watch this video and learn what you can do to help!
It is well known that industries such as fisheries, shipping and tourism derive great economic benefits from our oceans. But what most people don’t know is that oceans also provide a lot of other benefits that don’t even get counted. Watch this video to learn what they are!
Oceans are essential for regulating the earth's climate cycle, yet substantial warming trends in the earth's atmosphere are causing dangerous changes including a rising sea level, increased extreme weather events and polar ice melts. This video connects human activities with the changing climate. Find out what’s happening and what you can do!
A lot of our trash ends up in the ocean- even trash discarded far upstream. Marine litter can travel hundreds of miles via rivers and waterways to even the most remote parts of the planet. It causes billions of dollars in damage, is a threat to sea life and even to human health. Learn more about this growing problem, and how you can be part of the solution!
With atmospheric carbon on the rise, the role that nature plays in sequestering it has become more important than ever. Forests are not the only ecosystems that absorb carbon dioxide, mangroves and other ocean plant life do a lot of that work too. This video tells you how!
About Jim Toomey:
Jim Toomey is a renowned cartoonist who has been writing and drawing the daily comic strip, Sherman's Lagoon, for over 20 years. The strip is syndicated to over 250 newspapers throughout North America and appears in more than 30 countries around the world. Sherman's Lagoon combines Toomey's two life-long passions - art and the sea. In addition to producing his comic strip, he is active in marine conservation.