Krystal Blue Intl.


AQUA FACTS
August 28, 2012, 10:49 pm
Filed under: aquatic ecosystem | Tags: , , ,
  • Humans can survive for several weeks without food, but you can only survive for a few days without water.
  • 71% Earth’s surface is Water
  • Fish provide 1/5 of the animal protein eaten worldwide.
  • Lakes, Rivers, Seas and Oceans provide us with 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and our waters absorb 50% of our carbon footprint. (A carbon footprint is the measure of the impact our daily activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.)

 

Good News:

  • Coral reefs are being studied to provide important pharmaceutical breakthroughs in areas such as antibiotics and cures for cancer, heart disease and asthma.

The Bad News:

  • Higher acidity level of the oceans and seas are a direct result of increased carbon levels. This is causing shells not to form properly resulting in a loss of shellfish.
  • Islands of plastic debris as large as the State of Texas are floating in the Pacific Ocean, called the North Pacific Gyre. As the plastic is ground down by the force of the oceans, the plastic particles are consumed by fish, and ultimately by us.
  • Coral Reefs are dying off at increased rates – almost 50% are already gone. Bleaching of coral reefs in the past 20 years is now attributed to higher water temperatures, UV radiation, and water pollutants including sunscreens. The use of chemical sunscreens is having a toxic effect on the aquatic ecosystem and is being banned in certain marine eco parks across the world
  • Do you know that sea turtles, which have been swimming our waters for millions of years are in fear of becoming extinct? Unsafe scallop dredging practices and bottom trawlers catch and kill baby sea turtles.
  • Sharks populations are dwindling and dying due to human intervention, not even eco environment factors. Sharks play a vital role in maintaining a healthy marine eco system and are strong indicators as to the ocean’s sustainablility. Shark finning and bycatch are endangering shark populations to the verge of upsetting the aquatic eco system balance.


Water Cycle
Our oceans contain almost 97% of the world’s water supply and play an important role in our water cycle, eventually giving us clean non-salinated drinking water. The water cycle involves the movement of water across different locations, through the processes of evaporation, condensation, freezing, and melting.

It begins with our rivers which flow into our oceans. Water in the ocean then evaporates into the atmosphere. The water in the atmosphere condenses in the clouds. This condensation falls back to earth in the form of rain or snow, which replenishes the water supply in rivers, lakes and groundwater. Our drinking water may come from rivers and lakes, but the majority comes from groundwater. All of these are connected to the ocean through the evaporation and condensation process. If this process is hindered in any fashion, so is our supply of drinking water.



Experience and Learn How to Save the Ocean

People learn more effectively if they experience something first-hand. That’s why educational institutions these days provide experiential learning programs for young students, along with grown ups, who want to learn about ocean facts.

The major oceans on the planet are home to distinctive ocean creatures. These animals are simply not just the usual fishes or whales, but also cephalopods, crustaceans, plants, and birds. Some of these creatures are on the brink of extinction and many are endangered.

Individuals, as well as some organizations, have contributed greatly in the efforts to save the ocean. While their works are helpful, they can’t do it alone. People have to do their part in protecting this diverse ecosystem.

So, what can individuals do in order to help save the ocean? First, we could encourage awareness by studying ocean facts. Education and learning will encourage awareness, which in turn will promote its preservation. Academic institutions and institutions have conducted substantial studies of different oceans, and information is widely accessible for those who want to learn more about this.

In addition to that, it’s always best to start them young, that’s why parents and teachers should take their kids or students to educational institutions that are focused on this kind of cause. These field trips offer useful and fun ocean facts that students will find incredibly interesting.

These educational institutions concentrate on experiential learning as students understand more about ocean creatures not only in the classrooms. Learning is much more successful in the actual setting itself, which in this instance is the ocean.

Such educational institutions provide different activities for the kids of different ages. Year-round programs are tailor-made for the kids who are only 2 years old. Kids, as well as parents and teachers, can get up close and personal with the ocean’s creatures when they board on historic ship replicas. It is an adventure that could be educational and enjoyable for everyone.

For many who are interested in learning more about the ocean, getting on a modern day marine vessel can definitely be worthwhile. The marine vessels used by these institutions have its own devices that will aid in teaching guests about the dynamics of the ocean biome. The equipment may include computer systems, fish tanks, microscopes, and also other high tech devices.

These devices help guests in learning about diverse ocean creatures, such as plankton, whales, and fish. The vessel is also employed to analyze the deepest regions of the ocean and the species that reside there. Moreover, exceptional programs are also included in this cruise that’s held during the night or during the migration season of different whale species.

These educational institutions frequently have exhibits that are accessible to anybody during certain parts of the year. Priority is given to kids that will visit on schooldays, however. In addition to that, festivals celebrating marine creatures such as sharks and dolphins are held at these institutes. Kids can collect unique ocean facts from these programs to help them understand the significance of saving the ocean.

Progress doesn’t necessarily mean destroying a life for the advantage of another. That’s why it is crucial for everybody to do their part in preserving the oceans while there is still time. Education and learning can help men and women understand more about this habitat and cause them to contribute their own little acts of kindness to help preserve this planet that people share with these creatures.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5979002



Plastic Makes Up 70% of Marine Debris – Clean Up Your Local Beach and Save Marine Life

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to be invited on a whale watching expedition off the coast of San Francisco. A bumpy two-hour ride out, a lot of horizon searching and then the whalers’ cry ‘Tha She Blows’! To see the fountain of expelled air is exciting enough but then to see the animal itself, to watch its huge back break the waves and the fluke (tail) flick up as the whale dives deep again is truly heart-warming.

That day I watched two big grey whales and three humpback whales journeying through the Pacific Ocean. Seeing a whale up close in its natural environment, really does take your breath away. I joined the millions of people world-wide who want to protect these magnificent creatures from Japanese whaling boats and anyone else who would want to harm them.

As we motored out of San Francisco harbour and then motored back in again, amongst the gulls, the seals, yachts and puffins, we passed small collections of plastic bobbing around. These were not lobster pot markers. This was man-made detritus and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

At the end of the trip, the Marine Naturalist who was with us summed up our sea expedition and closed by asking each of us to be aware of how litter can destroy marine environments and cause damage to sea creatures. “Please keep your local beach clean”, she urged us.

Turtles die because they eat plastic bags, mistaking them for jellyfish. Albatross think small broken up pieces of bleached plastic are plankton or fish eggs and feed them to their chicks who subsequently die. Plastic makes up 70% of marine debris.

Coming home to England and living near Brighton beach, the Naturalist’s words rang in my head. On my first walk along the beach, I took a plastic bag to collect rubbish. I walked the beach between the Brighton Marina and the children’s playground – an area of about a third of a mile. My bag was full by the time I got half-way along. It was full of bits of plastic, aluminium cans, tangled fishing line and empty sandwich wrappers.

I walked away from the sea with my bag of rubbish, down a path by Grace’s beach cafe. A man who looked as though he was probably in his 60s stood drinking coffee from a cardboard cup. He finished his coffee and instead of putting the cup in the bin not a yard away from him, threw it over the small stone wall which edges the path.

I’m not a confrontational person and rather than anger, I felt sadness that this older person with all his experience of life should so blatantly litter his environment – and I said so. He shouted that I should ‘go away and stop bothering people.’ No convert there but who knows? Maybe next time he’s about to discard litter, he will look about for a bin to put it in. I hope so.

I leant over the wall, picked up his coffee cup and put it with my bag of litter in the bin right beside the cafe.

The production of plastic doubles every decade. As we grow older, we must use our experience to influence a younger generation coming up behind us to be considerate of the environment. We need to make sure they understand the damage that sea garbage can wreak on the sea, its fish, mammals and birds. If we don’t, what chance has the world got?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7037671



GLASS – “The Other Container”

I’m doing my parody on the hugely successful advertising campaign for pork, which made America feel good about eating pork again and gave us an alternative to poultry.  Slowly we plastic obsessed Americans are coming around to the virtues of glass, but it’s been a long way coming and a lot of irreparable damage has already been done to the environment.

I came across a Facebook page recently called Glass Is Life.  It’s a really cool page with interesting photos showing items packaged in glass, a welcome alternative to plastic.  Fitting, because glass has been on my mind lately.  I keep remembering getting milk delivered in glass bottles when I was a child and Heinz ketchup in its recognizable glass bottle with the embossed “57” which if you held just right, made your ketchup start to flow and of course glass Coke bottles!  Why is it that you can still get Coke in glass bottles in Europe and 3rd world countries?  Because they didn’t have the money to convert the bottling plants and jump on the plastique band wagon?

Glass used to be the container of choice for most things liquid.  I doubt my nieces or nephews who range in age from 12-17 would know what it’s like to drink Coke from a glass bottle.  I often wonder why beer has remained in glass when it seems like everything else is in plastic?  Was this the only smart industry that thought “everything that goes around comes around so why bother?”  What about Snapple?  We all grab for the Snapple bottle and don’t think twice about “Gee, it’s glass, maybe I should buy a competitor that’s plastic?  It would be lighter, easier to carry and less breakable.”  No, we all buy Snapple and don’t care that it’s glass!

Manufacturers take for granted that us common folk want plastic because it’s virtually unbreakable and light and can be molded into a gazillion shapes.  So it’s refreshing to see all the products on Glass is Life that are being produced in glass!  I for one will take glass over plastic any day.  It’s unique now, and it’s also infinitely recyclable – melt it down and turn it into a newly recycled glass bottle.  Plus making glass from recycled glass is cheap and a far greener way to go so there’s no reason for glass to ever go to a landfill.  I like that since I recycle everything I can.

Hopefully the advertising and manufacturing industries are paying attention to the “glass cult” developing across the world.  I was standing in a checkout line recently and there in front of me was water in a glass bottle!  I grabbed one and added it to my cart just because!  Didn’t even look at the price!  No reason other than it was a refreshing sight from the sea of plastic being thrown at us.  And if that glass bottle wind up in the ocean, guess what?  It becomes frosty sea glass, prized by collectors and beachgoers the world over who collect it, spend lots of money on up-cycled beach glass jewelry and display it in “Glass jars” in their homes….. 



Ocean Facts: Marine Life in the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the greatest illustration of marine biodiversity in this world with its vibrant population of whales, sharks and fish. That’s why it is very important conserve this diverse marine life through education.

If you would like understand everything with regards to the ocean and marine life, the best place to begin with is the largest ocean on earth, the Pacific Ocean. It covers about 135,663 kilometers of coastline and about 28% of the world’s surface. It stretches through the coastlines of continents such as North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. The Mariana Trench is the deepest portion of any ocean on earth with a depth of 36,201 feet. Numerous islands also dot this wide ocean, which includes Tahiti, Fiji, and Hawaii.

Because of its vastness, the Pacific Ocean is additionally the place to find numerous sea animals. It is one of the most diverse habitats in this world as you’ll find whales, dolphins, fish, and crustaceans here. From the most fearsome sharks to tiny planktons, you will find a diverse assortment of ocean life in this part of the world. This huge number of marine life helps make this ocean among the finest sites for biodiversity on earth.

Just what sorts of sea animals is found in the Pacific? On the topmost tier of the food chain is the whale. The blue, humpback, and sperm whales are just many of the beings which thrive in this ocean. These gentle beings are important in the environment and diversity of the Pacific. Krill, plankton, as well as other tiny fish are a significant part of the diet of the gentle giants, however the killer whale can consume other whales and seals. Sadly, a few of these sea animals are on the brink of extinction.

Various types of sharks also call the Pacific Ocean their home. These kinds of predators are sometimes misrepresented in movies and in books, and this has sometimes added to the species’ vulnerability and near extinction. Its skin comprises of cartilage material (a stuff that is present in human noses and ears), which makes it very hard to cut into.

The Pacific Ocean is also home to a lot of types of fish used in industrial fishing which includes salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Extraordinary kinds of fish such as the Cocinero, Hawaiian ladyfish, and Bering flounder are also found in this ocean. This kind of marine life feeds many people, which is one of the reasons why it is really worth protecting.

The world’s greatest coral reefs are also in the Pacific. These coral reefs are the place to find a diversity of ocean life, which is why a lot of energy is invested in preserving them. Reefs can take thousands of years to develop plus some have even taken up to millions of years to build. The Pacific Ocean is home to wonderful coral reefs such as the ones situated in Australia, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea. These reefs contain huge ocean life which needs to be preserved.

The Pacific Ocean isn’t just a large, blue, and vacant space. It’s full of sea animals as well as other organisms that contribute so much to the harmony in the eco-system. We need to understand the value of the ocean and the marine life for us to learn ways to safeguard our heritage for ourselves and for the future generation. Preserving this vast collection of ocean life needs to be one of the top priorities in our preservation efforts, and education plays a large role in this. With the right education, we may just be able to preserve many of the sea animals on the brink of extinction these days.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5649358



Organic Sunscreen – Are Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Sunscreens Better For You and the Earth? By Brenda Wollenberg

Short answer, yes. Organic sunscreens are absolutely best for you, your family and the environment. The long answer, however, involves defining what an organic, biodegradable and eco-friendly sunscreen looks like, determining why its use is so important and then figuring out which are the best organic sunscreens to buy.

Organic vs. Certified Organic

For the most part, you will be hard-pressed to find a certified organic sunscreen. Organic certification standards for any of the most highly regarded organizations such as the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), Canadian Organic Regime (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and ACO (Australian Certified Organic) require qualifying products to have a certain percentage (i.e. usually 95% or more) of ingredients that have been grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or GMOs.

Because two of the most effective and eco-friendly sunscreen ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-neither of which are grown and therefore neither of which can be certified organic-sunscreens using these two minerals as a way of blocking and scattering UVA and UVB rays, cannot be certified organic. That means for sunscreens, my usual “buy certified organic” skin care products recommendations need to be modified.

Since it is virtually impossible to make a natural, effective certified organic sunscreen, look instead for a sunscreen that falls within the following guidelines:

 

  • contains no problematic synthetic ingredients (i.e. for further information on ingredients that pose potential problems with issues such as hormone disruption or cancer, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic data base)
  • contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as sun protection ingredients (i.e. sunscreens that use “absorbing” chemicals rather than “scattering/blocking” minerals increase the body’s toxic load)
  • all other ingredients should be natural or certified organic.

Why Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Matter

 

Paraben-free and other synthetic chemical-free sunscreens are not only better for your own health-avoiding potentially cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting elements is always a wellness boost in my books-but the oceans and sea life will thank you for using them as well. Every year between 4000 and 6000 tons of chemical-laden sunscreen is washed off vacationers and ends up heavily polluting our lakes and oceans.

The ingredients in most conventional sunscreens act as an oil film on the water, cause environmental damage to sea life in general and are particularly harmful to coral reefs. On the other hand, sunscreens that contain only natural and organic ingredients are biodegradable-break down easily and naturally-and eco-friendly-create little, if any, environmental damage.

Which Sunscreens to Buy?

Looking for a healthier way to protect your skin from excess sun exposure and yet be a good steward of our earth too? Become an astute label reader. Be sure your sunscreen includes protective minerals-zinc oxide is my particular favorite-moisturizing herbs and essential oils, and contains none of the ingredients most damaging to you and the oceans. In particular, that means avoiding four of the sunscreen ingredients that a 2008 study reported in Environmental Health Perspectives showed to be most damaging to sea algae and in turn, our reefs: paraben, benzophenone, cinnamate and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor.

The products we put on our skin, sunscreens included, have huge impact on overall personal health as well as on environmental wellness too. Choosing a top quality organic sunscreen is simply one of the best ways to take care of yourself, your family and our earth.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2588296



Plastic Pollution – A Ticking Time Bomb For the Ocean

Recently, we saw the Plastiki – a sailboat made out of 12,500 plastic bottles – complete its 15,000 km journey from San Francisco to Sydney. The publicity surrounding this event has been used to highlight the perils facing the oceans and one of them is plastic waste.

A big mess in the oceans
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over 13,000 pieces of plastic litter the surface of each square kilometre of ocean.

Charles Moore, the scientist credited for discovering the Pacific Garbage Patch said earlier this year: “Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint.”

We’ve heard of the Pacific Garbage Patch, now scientists are warning that a floating mass of scattered refuse extends over thousands of square miles in the remote Atlantic.

Marine life – the victims of our plastic pollution
The NOAA estimates 100,000 turtles and marine mammals are killed by garbage every year. Turtles are particularly vulnerable as they cannot distinguish between jellyfish (their staple feed) and plastic.

Plastic pollution is also a hazard to human safety. Waste can clog up waterways and this can have catastrophic consequences. Plastics were identified as a major contributor to severe flooding in Bangladesh in the late 1990s and in the aftermath, a total ban was imposed on plastic bags.

An expensive mess
Plastic waste is expensive. Plastic products may be cheap to produce – just pennies for a typical shopping bag – but their cleanup (not to mention their effects on human and environmental health) can cost a lot more.

Is biodegradable plastic the solution?
It’s worth bearing in mind how plastics are made. They are petroleum products made from a non-renewable source and dependency on oil is continued with plastic use.

Plastics do not break down easily. The time required for a typical plastic bag to decompose is believed to range from 20 to 1,000 years.

Biodegradable plastics have been around for over twenty years. These are made using products such as corn, hemp and soy. While this is not a solution to the plastic waste problem (because biodegradable plastics can also have an environmental impact), it is a serious consideration within the wider scheme of waste management.

Reduce, reuse, recycle
The fact of the matter is, if you use it, it has to end up somewhere. Only by following the three Rs motto, can the plastic problem be dealt with.

Using less plastic
The simple solution is to not create the waste in the first place.

Is that bottle of soda or water really necessary? Less than 20 per cent of plastic water bottles are recycled. We also have to ask ourselves if we really need those extra household items that won’t be in use for long and will create more waste.

Recycling is everyone’s responsibility
It is estimated that between 3 and 6 per cent of plastics are recycled around the world. There is need for improvement. The mindset has to change from “disposable” to RECYCLABLE.

Companies who have taken initiatives to make their products more recyclable are seeing rewards. At the government level, those municipalities and local governments that have incorporated recycling into their waste management schemes are dealing with significantly less waste going to the landfills.

Consumers have to play their part by making a greater effort to recycle. Too many recyclable items are still going to the landfills.

Dispose properly
We shouldn’t forget this important aspect. Carelessly tossed waste is more likely to end up in the waterways than if it was placed in a disposal unit. 80 per cent of ocean plastics come from land.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4880362