Plastic and wildlife
Another wonderful Pacific Rim Whale Festival has come and gone from our communities here on the west coast and a lot of fun was had by all! One of the many great things about Whale Fest is the events put on are meant to not only be fun and educational, but also to share our love and respect of nature.
Us west coasters are very blessed to live, and make a living, in what is probably one of the most pristine eco-systems in all of the world, and we are reminded every time we walk out of our doors how lucky we are by all of the natural beauty that surrounds us.
As a big part of the whale fest is educational, I would like to share something close to my heart with you, and that is marine garbage and debris. One side effect from us living and working on the coast is all the garbage we produce and do not recycle or dispose of properly. Unfortunately a lot of this garbage (which is almost all plastic) ends up in our waterways, in our ocean and on our beaches. Not only is this ugly to look at, but animals mistakenly think our garbage is food for them. They eat small pieces of plastic and end up with bellies full of undigestable plastic, or wind up entangled in fishing lines or nets.
One small thing we can do to help prevent major interactions of animals with plastic is to pick up just one piece of plastic garbage each time you walk the beach. If we all did this, it would make a world of difference, and we will all be that much better off.
For those of you as concerned about plastic garbage in our oceans as I am, have no fear, there is hope! Nineteen year old student Boyen Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,2500,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. You can read more about this awesome invention at http://inhabitat.com/19-year-old-student-develops-ocean-cleanup-array-that-could-remove-7250000-tons-of-plastic-from-the-worlds-oceans/
And for those of you who do pick up garbage, or are thinking about starting to pick up garbage on your beach walks, be assured your efforts do not go unnoticed by the members of the animal kingdom. Here is an amazing video of a family rescuing a humpback whale tangled in fishing line and the thank you they receive for their efforts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJu9hf3PUt4