Worldwide volunteer programs to save our beaches - I
The oceans, as mighty as they may seem are taking the worst impact of pollution and climate change. A little reminder from grade 6 Geography that the world right now needs is what makes Earth so special is its ability to sustain life only because it has the three spheres, the lithosphere, the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, overlapping and interacting with each other. Earth does not sustain life simply because it has water or oxygen, but because it has elements from each sphere interacting with each other. Billions of years into interaction among these life sustaining elements, the appearance of humans and their interaction with environment has taken everything downhill since then.
Mankind has been taking resources from the ocean shameless and dumping as much trash in it at the same time. Overfishing, oil spills, plastic pollution, extinction through poisoning, death of plankton belts are just a few illnesses that the oceans and seas are currently suffering. We can go on and on about the stats, the extinction, or the death of the Great Barrier Reef after years of illness, but we would like to talk about what you can do.
Whether or not you choose beaches, between beaches or mountains, you and your ecosystem is always going to interact with the Marine life, and there are passive and active ways to be a warrior for our friends with fins.
To begin with the active ways first, you can choose to travel as a volunteer for saving marine ecosystems. This would mean you travelling to different beaches around the world, and participating in the beach cleaning camps happening everywhere. Here are a few for you to begin with:
- An initiative by an NGO from Indonesia called Divers Clean Action (DCA) aims to take both preventive and curative measures for ocean health and increase youth participation in the movement. It plans 2-day trips where you can help clean waste on land and underwater in your collection bank, help in planting plankton, help in making eco bricks , visit programs about turtle conservation, and learn about waste banks and recycling units, that will help you monitor your consumption in future.
- Another crazy initiative in the same country is North Bali Reef Conservation, that has already installed around 3000 artificial reefs around Bali, and hence help in drawing larger marine life by helping provide homes to corals and small fishes, at places where natural reefs were destroyed. Apart from being a part of this program, there are weekly beach clean ups and an opportunity to reduce the impact of plastic pollution.
- Project Azraq at Egypt adds a sprinkle of eco-friendly action on your thrilling snorkelling adventure. An eco holiday experience is designed to give you a taste of both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills about about the Red Sea Species and their reef monitoring project. The funds collected through the project also go towards research on coral reef health and initiatives to protect them.
- The Marine Conservation Philippines allows you to engross with the local community and work towards the protection and preservation of marine ecosystems. It is an eeco-aware diver program that teaches you or allows you to advance your qualification in diving, as well as trains you to pick up any trash that you comes along under water. Anyone with a little bit of spare time should contact them at least once to know how they can help, and leave with a life changing experience and a positive impact.
- The list is long, with climate activists up-ing their game worldwide giving travelers a chance to do their bit everywhere they go. Get in touch with localites to find any beach cleaning events or ocean health programs are running in the city you plan to go to.
Another important aspect that travelers can leave an impact on is fishery. It is important to remember that the reason veganism has been brought up as a step towards environment recovery is because the humans were consuming beyond the natural cycle of food chain could permit. Animal agriculture became a common reason for deforestation, while marine ecosystems started experiencing extinction by hampering with their food chain. Keeping this in mind, if you can avoid seafood, that would be ideal, however if you are a seafood lover who travelled across the seas to taste some delicacies, then there are ways to make wiser choices. It is not the local fisherman who are damaging the environment, it’s the big food chains and MNC outlets, engaging in mass fishery and exploitation. Choosing to eat at a local fisher family’s house or finding the best local stalls on the beach might be the ideal choice. Not only it boycotts mass fishery, it also supports the local economy which is another important principle of ecotourism.
Lastly, talk and share about your experiences with the marine ecosystems and nature in general. Let people know how they might choose to dispose of their trash responsibly in a dustbin, and it might still end up in the ocean. While cleaning and recycling are important steps, encouraging people to reduce their consumption level is the sustainable goal we are moving towards.
We all saw Finding Nemo in 2003. An iconic movie that not only made us cry and laugh, but light heartedly gave a message about the life in the ocean and how we had already created a mess there with our “leftovers from war”, our sewage, our plastic and well- the fishing business. It has only become worse after that, and a lot of Nemo and Dory’s friends our dying and choking. You can help and you can make wiser choices. Travelers are loving people who love creatures , humans or otherwise, from different countries or even ecosystems. Choosing ecotourism can save complete ecosystems.
Note: It's the first part of our three story series. Stay tuned or join the community for updates about our future stories.
Join the global community of localites and support and understand how ecotourism can help our planet and make a better future. Download the community app from Google Play or App Store and start your journey today!
Thanks for reading.
Have a good day!
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