First Trash, Now Oil

Friday, May 21, 2010 0 comments
OMG.  Animals are dying.
I know I said I'm happy.  And I am.  But I'm just so upset right now.  Really.  It is very hard for me to find the words to describe my feelings with regard to the effects of the never-ending BP oil spill except to say that I am angry and terribly sad.  I should have never started reading the news this morning and looked at the picture of the tortoise that has washed up on shore in Louisiana (see photo to the left).  I'm a wreck.
One of the main reasons I run a travel camp in waterfront locations is to first teach kids a little something about the beauty and precious nature of our land and of the sea.  When they snorkel, they get to see first hand the glory of underwater sea life.  In fact, while at CampCaribe 2010, 12 year old Adventurer Anala (who doesn't like the idea of fish touching her), was (ironically) always the first one decked out in her snorkel gear ready to explore the Caribbean sea.  After a full day of sailing, Anala excitedly told me that she got photos of puffer fish and sea turtles on her underwater camera.  She was delighted.  And I was delighted.  I wish you could've seen the look on her face.  Similarly and more recently, I asked Adventurer Cydney (also 12) what her Top 5 favorite things about camp were.  One thing that made her list was Coral World, a marine life park located in St. Thomas with one of only a few underwater observatories in the world.  Not only were the iguana roaming freely about the park, but the sea turtles were popular to watch as they gracefully cruised around in the sea (see photo below).  I remember one of the girls reading one of the plaquards out loud about how many turtles die from humans' inappropriate disposal of plastic grocery trash bags.  (FACT:  Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.)  First trash, now oil.  Wow.
In addition to my frequent request that any and all trash the girls would see at camp or on the beach be picked up (even if they didn't create it), I think they all got the point.  The air, land and sea are home to many and it is our duty to protect our home and the life that lives in it.  Pretty simple concept.  Pretty hard to do.
As you can probably relate to, I am horrified by the impact of the oil spill on the environment, on sea & marsh life, on birds, on fishermen, and on the economy.  But I am hopeful that this generation of children will turn into adults that care for and understand the value of the air we breathe, the earth we live on, and the sea and waterfronts we share.  I hope that by doing my small part by exposing girls to the beauty of nature and the wonder of the outdoors that it will leave them with some sort of long-term positive impact about their individual roles as stewards of our precious environment.  This is why I do what I do.  Thanks for listening.


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