“Care of the Oceans”

 (Chapter 9, Earth Restorer’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow)

Reviewed by Tanvier Fowler

Reignite your love of coastal ecosystems!

This chapter is found in the Ecological Literacy section of the book and gives the reader universal language to talk about marine ecosystems. We all know what an estuary is and looks like. Can you describe what makes it an estuary? Or how it connects to other ecosystems?

Rowes’s descriptions provide scientific terms and information that is interesting and easy to understand. The tables and figures are thoughtful additions that tell a story by themselves. The ecosystems covered are coastal, along the edge of ocean and land.

Given that about 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometres of the sea, it is fitting and urgent that permaculturists broaden their design thinking to encompass the relationship between land and oceans.” P 125

In WA 75% of us live in Perth and nationally 87% of Aussies live within 50km of the coast.

Perhaps you are thinking I’m working on the land, why do I need to think about the ocean? Well…

All ocean degradation starts on land” Let that sink in for a moment.


Because oceans are fundamental and intrinsic to all Earth’s ecosystems. It is our ethical obligation to become literate, active and care for all Earth, not just the parts above the tidelines” P 125

Read the chapter and let Rowe put the pieces together for you. The big picture about climate and the smaller picture about communities. Enjoy Rob Allsops’ illustrations, I did.

“Even if you don’t live near the ocean, then you still contribute significantly to marine health through downstream impacts of your designs.” P137

Some of the ways permaculturists can care for the oceans are considered including zones, designs, management, protective actions, restorative strategies, coastal industries and individual & political actions.

I hope this chapter inspires everyone to get excited about some of Rowes’ suggested activities and put the care you have for the oceans into practice!

The best way to change people and feel positive is to get involved and share your actions.” P144

Some Links you may find useful:






Leave a Reply