My mind has been on water recently because I am getting ready for this year’s sea turtle hatchling season. I have already been to two informational meetings and am taking on the new task of being a supervisor. This means that I am large and in charge of the safety of the little guys that pop out of the sand. I will have an official permit with my name on it—the permit is needed because sea turtles are an endangered specie and only permitted folks can handle them. My responsibility comes with some sad news though. I may not be able to do any supervising and releasing because of the low nest count. On our part of the beaches, we only have 11 confirmed nests. Last year at this time, we had over 60 nests. Why, you ask, is the count so low? If we look at the situation scientifically, sea turtles nest about every 2 to 3 years. What was going on two summers ago? Unfortunately that is when adult and sub-adult loggerhead turtles were washing up dead almost every day. There were close to 100 sea turtle carcasses that summer due to red tide. This would have been their summer to nest. So the speculation is flying around that this reason is the cause for the low nest count. Nothing has been confirmed officially by anyone, but it is an educated guess by marine biologists in the area.
Beyond my thoughts of hatchlings making a break for the breakers, June 8 has been donned World Ocean’s Day. This is such an important event that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) dedicated their June issue of their monthly magazine solely to ocean issues and aquarium strides.
What is the purpose of this celebratory day? In a nutshell, those of us conservation types want to spread the word to everyone that will listen that we need to change the way we look at the ocean. To allow everyone from Montana to Florida know that things we do influence the health of our water sources and those animals that live within those habitats. One of the main goals of this campaign is to inspire people to do something positive for the oceans.
Most, if not all of us, have seen the movie “Finding Nemo” that highlights the different reef and ocean creatures from around the world. Nemo is a famous face for kids—the orange and white clownfish makes a great impact on youth and is extremely recognizable by everyone. Why do I bring this up? Because Nemo brought the reefs into our homes, he brought the oceans of the world into our homes and made us connect with water and possibly understand the need for conservation. http://seastheday.org highlights the Seven C’s for a Sustainable Future; commit to making a real difference; conserve in your home; consume consciously; communicate your interests and concerns; challenge yourself daily; connect in your community and of course CELEBRATE our ocean. We all can celebrate our ocean by doing something small that will make a big impact on conserving our oceans and our water sources. If you visit http://www.theoceanproject.org/wod you can find out many different ways you can make a difference.
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