Each of us has an inherent connection with the ocean, from where all life on earth began. It’s in every drop of rain and the gentle breeze on your face. With every breath you take you are connected to the sea, no matter how far from it you live.
As with anything magical, unravel it’s mysteries and appreciation grows. We begin to understand the delicate balance of plants and animals that share our planet took millions of years to develop. Some organisms, like corals, have persisted in nearly their original state, surviving repeated episodes of mass extinction. Others, like us, are relative newcomers to this planet. Condense the 3.8 billion year history of life on earth into a 24-hour clock and we arrive about 2 seconds to midnight, yet we are having an enormous impact. Indeed, countless numbers of species are disappearing each year, due in large part to human influences on the planet and its biosphere. It was recently estimated that we’ve lost half the planet’s wildlife in the last 40 years. The consequences of continuing to reduce earth’s biodiversity at this rate are profound and would certainly prove detrimental to our existence.
Coral reefs exemplify the apex of nature’s success in the ocean realm. In addition to the unparalleled natural beauty of a pristine coral reef, they represent the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. In recent decades, however, scientists have observed an alarming and unprecedented decline in reefs worldwide. There is both concern and debate regarding the persistence of these ecosystems beyond this century. Human impact on global climate change, habitat destruction and improper resource management will challenge the existence of coral reefs within our lifetime.
Together we have the capacity to influence this change in either direction. Through exploration, interaction and understanding, we hope to foster awareness and appreciation of the intrinsic value of coral reefs and our responsibility to protect these and other natural wonders on our planet. Bear in mind that the actions each generation chooses to take will be felt by many generations thereafter. Together, we can use education, mentorship, and open dialogue to invoke social environmental change. Those who take part, become the solutions. So climb aboard and become the change you wish to see in our world.
Dr. Robin T. Smith
CONNECT WITH US LIVE ON November 29th, 2016 for GIVING TUESDAY
What is your connection to sea?
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