The ocean is polluted and contaminated. This didn’t happen overnight.
For years, countries around the world, and seafaring ships and barges have dumped garbage in the ocean. They probably just thought who would be any the wiser? After all, doesn’t garbage sink just to the bottom of the sea? No one will know. How wrong they were and are. Over the course of time, garbage mixes with water and becomes a soup-like mixture constantly moving, avoiding capture. Eventually, if lucky, it washes up against coastlines and is captured by environmentalists working tirelessly to clean and pick it up.
The problem is that fish can’t talk and we can’t easily with our eyes see beneath the surface of the ocean. There are no witnesses to point fingers at the perpetrators of this calamity. There is no responsibility for the consequences to marine life living beneath the surface. Would you want to be a one-hundred-year-old turtle that swallows a plastic bag thinking it is a jellyfish? How tragic is that? This is everyone’s problem. Fortunately, teens are incredibly good at banding together and getting their message out through social media. The question is, “What would make them passionate about cleaning up the ocean and make this message go viral?”
If the ocean is not helped then the days of going to a clean beach may be gone.
The stench of pollution and dead fish will be a constant reminder that we did nothing. Not taking action is still a choice. The ocean dies and so do we.
Do you want to be healthy, think clearly, bathe in clean water, or lounge on vacation on a pristine beach feeling the cool sand between your toes? Of course, you do. Don’t despair.
There is hope. No matter how huge or seemingly insurmountable a problem seems, when two or more like-minded people get together and work on a common goal, miracles can happen. I Did It For Brian: Teens: Save Our Oceans, Save The World is written to ask teens to get involved.
In the following excerpt from the book, the main characters Annabelle and Thomas are discussing research she has done about the ocean, for a science project.
“I’m so upset! I actually feel nauseated. After doing the research on this site I learn that plastic and garbage is a huge problem. How come I didn’t know about this sooner? Why isn’t everyone taking massive action right now? Is everyone asleep? It certainly looks like it. How can I wake them up?”
“The first thing I realize is: if kids, teens, and adults aren’t aware there is a problem, how can they even begin to correct it? So, being aware of the problem is the starting point. Here are some notes that I jot down after looking at the website:
- There are areas in the ocean called gyres where the currents trap plastic. These areas are several million square kilometers in size. These gyres are referred to as Garbage Patches because there is so much garbage trapped there.
- One area is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where 1/3 of the plastic in the ocean accumulates.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area between Hawaii and California.
- Plastic is able to wash up on coastlines. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this body of water doesn’t have land to catch plastic. So Boyan Slat, the CEO of The Ocean Clean Up, came up with the idea of sending out a long array of floating devices attached to the seabed. The intention is to catch the plastic and still allow the fish through.
- His efforts are concentrated on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch because 1/3 of the ocean’s plastic accumulates there.
- Once the plastic is caught it can be scooped up, removed and recycled.
- Fish cannot always distinguish what is food and what is plastic. When they eat the plastic, it kills them.
- Small microbeads found in some toothpaste and soap is killing fish and birds once they’ve ingested it.
- The goal is to get rid of plastic out of the ocean before it breaks down into small pieces.
The first step is to be aware.” **
This is a direct request for teens around the world to wake up and get involved. The ocean needs help immediately. Teens are savvy and experts at affecting change through social media, thereby ensuring that the entire world receives this call to action.
Let’s hope teens everywhere realize that the ocean needs their assistance!
(** SOURCE: “I Did it for Brian: Teens: Save Our Oceans, Save the World” page 36-38)