Education

Tips to live sustainably

reduce single-use plastic

The first step into living ocean friendly is to become more aware of personal consumption of single-use plastic. When can you say “NO” to plastic straws, plastic cups, lids, and plastic containers? These products are extremely poisonous for all marine species. When a marine species lower in the food chain, such as a small fish, ingests toxic plastics that toxicity is biomagnified throughout the food web until it reaches apex predators such as whales and sharks. 

Reduce your Carbon footprint

Green house gas emissions cause climate change and ocean acidification. By driving, flying, and choosing renewable energy whenever possible increases the potential of regaining and maintaining the health of the oceans and its marine life.

Choose sustainable seafood

Overfishing is a big problem throughout the world. Over the last 55 years, we have eliminated 90% of the oceans top predators like; sharks, bluefin tuna, marlin, swordfish, and king mackerel. When there is decline in number of apex predators  species lower in the food chain see rapid population growth disrupting the entire ecosystems function. Overpopulation can lead to  an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. 

Know where your food comes from!

(Oceana facts)

TRunk Bay St. Johns U.s Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay, St. Johns U.S Virgin Islands was hit by Hurricane Michael. The following images show what happens when a natural disaster such as hurricane can do to entire bay of coral. 

causes of coral mortality

Coral Bleaching

Coral reefs are very sensitive to sudden changes in environment such as salinity, temperature and solar radiation. Coral bleaching is the main cause to coral mortality. Increase in ocean temperature exceeding the normal maximum temperature will drive a mass bleaching event. Ocean acidification is a decrease in the overall pH balance caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide released from natural and anthropogenic forces. Why does it matter? “25% of marine life depends on coral reefs for habitat. 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food, tourism, employment and even protection from extreme weather.” Bleached coral does not mean it is completely dead. With the return of colder waters coral can make a comeback. (Credit: Reef Resilience. Mass Bleaching. reefresilience.org)

Black Band Disease

Symptoms: A black band moving across the coral. Potential to kill entire colonies within months.

Causes: Black band disease is caused by a bacteria called Phormidium corallyticum

White Band Disease

Symptoms: Tissue peels off of stag horn and elk horn coral, leaving behind the exposed tissue of coral. 

Causes: Not yet known by scientists. 

(Credit: South Florida Aquatic Environments. Coral Diseases. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/southflorida/habitats/corals/diseases/)

 

Black Band Disease
Withe Band Disease

Plastic Pollution

Plastic use and its subsequent breakdown is having a devastating impact on not only marine life but as it travels up the food chain human life and land animals such as sea birds and seals. Most of the fish humans consume on a daily basis is littered with tiny bits of micro plastics. Help the world and yourself by significantly reducing the use of single use plastics!

A new world of trash

There is a garbage page in the middle of the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. Every day that garbage patch continues to grow. Humans alone have generated 18.2 trillion pounds of trash since the 1950’s and that number is not slowing down. Most of the trash accumulating in our oceans is plastic and its break down into micro plastics. Plastic pollution is a disease to coral reefs and marine life. 

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