Americans Are Heartwired to Love the Ocean
“The ocean does something to your spirit,” an African-American woman from Charlotte, North Carolina volunteered during a focus group.
“You are stressed out when you are driving. You get close to the ocean, you can smell the air. There is something about that. There is probably something really good about breathing that air in too — not just looking at it.”
“It is about the only time that I am at peace, or if I am at church,” added a white man from Kansas City.
Our research is showing that Americans from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds don’t just love the ocean — they are heartwired to love the ocean. For them, being at or near the ocean is a powerful, multi-sensory experience that evokes strong memories of their lived experiences with the ocean and equally strong emotional reactions, including a powerful desire to protect the ocean for future generations.
In a country that finds itself deeply divided on many issues, this presents an invaluable opportunity for ocean conservation advocates.