I remember taking a trip to Biscayne Bay in fifth grade. The whole class huddled on the beach, eager to get in the water. We were all wearing big floppy water shoes and our special yellow shirts that we only wore on field trips. We were handed small yellow fish nets and were told that we could catch all the fish we saw in the water. I was probably the first to run into the water and step all over the squishy kelp that covered the seafloor. That day, I learned about different kinds of fish and coral. I was in awe at the colors of the fish and the beautiful shapes of the coral. That trip was one of my most precious memories from all of elementary school. At a very young age, I fell in love with the beach. There is just something about the beach that never fails to make me happy. The white sand in my toes and salt in my hair is just an unforgettable vibe.
My love for the beach has also brought me great pain. We treat our Miami beaches terribly. From the tonnes of raw sewage dumped in our oceans to the utter disregard for our coral reefs. Miami has a lot of work to do for our environment. Floods, destruction of mangrove forests, and the nuclear waste that seeps into our everglades should be our main priority.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the beautiful sight of the different blue shades the sea divides itself into. Learning the negative effect that our everyday selfish decisions as humans have on the ocean’s natural life has led me to be more conscious about my own decisions and their impact. From limiting my use of plastic to trying to be as energy efficient as possible, I try to constantly think about the environment when making the smallest of decisions. Starting in my local neighborhood, we all have a long way to go in order to protect the beautiful planet we call home. In future articles, we will discuss various topics to bring attention to these problems, offer solutions, and educate others.
We hope you share a love for the environment along with us as we embark on this journey.
Here is some basic information that everyone should know about our oceans and environment:
- About 97% of Earth’s water in the ocean, 2% is frozen, and about 1% is fresh and available for us (oceanservice.noaa.gov).
- In the last thirty years, more than 50% of the world’s coral reefs have died (www.secore.org).
- Between 1933 and 2016, Greenland lost 286 billions tons of ice yearly on average while Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons yearly (climate.nasa.gov).
- Due to higher carbon dioxide emissions, there has been an increase of approximately 30% in ocean waters’ acidity since the Industrial Revolution (climate.nasa.gov).
- There is an average of 137 tropical forest species that go extinct daily (www.ran.org).
- About 1,000,000 sea creatures die yearly due to the plastic pollution in the ocean (www.usi.edu).
- “Air pollution is responsible for 33% of the toxic contaminants that end up in oceans and coastal waters” (marinebio.org)
- Around the world, there are more than 500 ocean dead zones which are the size of the United Kingdom (reef-world.org).
Sources Used in Blog Article