By The Sea – Encouraging Respect For Our Blue Planet
As humanity’s negative effects on the planet become obvious many books are encouraging us to respect nature as a place vital to our health. Most are about the benefits of woods, fields and mountains, but Dr Deborah Cracknell’s By the Sea reminds us that ‘blue health’ can be even better than ‘green.’
Beautifully designed, By the Sea: The Therapeutic Benefits of Being In, On, and By the Water combines text with images, inspirational quotes, and research into the physical and psychological effects of water together with Deborah’s accounts of the marine world. Reading it feels almost as satisfying as being in, on or by the water itself.
Growing up and working in Plymouth, Deborah explains how she became interested in the sea and the threats it faces. Deborah says:
‘Both my parents were into nature. They were always pointing out different plants and animals to me. We spent as much time as possible at the coast, so my fascination with the underwater world stems from time I spent rockpooling as a child.’
To Be By The Sea
After years working in financial services, Deborah decided to follow her passion: marine life. Enrolling as a marine biology student at Plymouth University led to her working at Plymouth Aquarium. During that time, she saw first-hand the positive effects of underwater life on visitors.
Deborah’s own experiences of the sea are inspiring. She mentions encountering a large basking shark off the Cornish coast,
‘I couldn’t help but be filled with awe watching it glide gracefully through the water. Such a wonderful – and privileged – experience.’
Aside from the precious beauty of the sea, Deborah is aware of the damage it is suffering.
‘Many people have become disconnected from nature. Screen time is on the increase, leaving less time to explore natural environments. People are still clearly drawn to the sea, but I’m saddened by how the marine environment is sometimes treated. There are many threats to the oceans, particularly climate change, but also overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution. Really all these threats are a result of our over-consumption. We need to reduce our carbon footprint and think carefully about the daily choices we make.’
As for growing your creative potential, Deborah suggests it is about
‘slowing down and giving yourself space to explore possibilities.’
Where better to do that than by the sea?
By the Sea is available now.
Written by Ben Jacob
Follow Deborah @MssScylla | Follow Ben @benjamin_writer