Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 21 - May 30

Life Guard Station 26, Ocean Park, Santa Monica
trash collected for 20 min.
estimated pounds collected today - 2.5
estimated pounds collected to date - 151
Ocean Acidification - What is that you say? Well, it is not good, and it impacts shells. The acidity of the ocean is increasing.
Here is a very brief explanation.

Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising. We create carbon dioxide when we drive a car. There are a lot of cars being driven around the world. This is one of the biggest ways Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, is created.
The ocean absorbs the CO2 from the atmosphere, and when it does, it turns CO2 into Carbonic Acid. This acid is making the acidity level in the oceans increase. The PH balance of the sea water is changing, and becoming more acidic.

Shells and Coral Reefs are formed by Calcium Carbonate. The acidity in the water erodes the Calcium Carbonate, making it harder for Coral Reefs and shells to form. A Coral Reef is a major marine habitat for many, many animals. Also, the creatures that live in shells, mussels and crabs to name a couple, are the food source for a lot of marine animals.

Think about what will happen if the ocean water keeps becoming more acidic, and these food sources and habitats are no longer able to be formed?

If you would like a further explanation, and a more level-headed one, click here to read a Science Daily article explaining recent studies on Ocean Acidification.
Oil Spills - Lets cover all the really cheery topics in one post. It will insure that you keep coming back to read more! I know, awareness about the major problems facing us in marine and environmental conservation can be upsetting. I have often wanted to just cry DOOMED, WE'RE DOOMED. But these same feelings, if I sit with them long enough, can make me do some funny things, like start a blog and collect trash!
Maybe you can come up with a similar antidote. Maybe you already do.

This is a website I found - similar to Heal the Bay in Santa Monica where I live - that addresses San Francisco Bay and the Oil Spill of 2007. click here to see their site and support their efforts.
"On November 7, 2007, the Cosco Busan ran into a Bay Bridge tower in heavy fog, dumping more than 50,000 gallons of thick fuel oil into San Francisco Bay. Fouling 56 miles of shoreline and killing 3,000 birds, the spill was a tragedy. The outpouring of public concern following the spill proved how much the community loves our Bay and understands that a healthy Bay is vital for our quality of life and economy." - Save the Bay

The feather that I have posted above, is from my local beach, found on May 29, 2009. It reminded me of this tragic accident.
More plastic bottles. So many of them never get recycled. A stainless steel water bottle is a great alternative to this. It keeps the water cold for a long time, and is reusable indefinitely.
I pick up a lot of straws. I'm talking about 5-10 every time I am out there. It is a boring picture, but I needed to mention it because of how many I come across.
Ahhhh, end on a good note. It was a beautiful day to be walking on the beach. Lots of people enjoyed themselves and I collected some trash so that it did not get sucked into the water. Small steps.