Happy World Oceans Day! On this day, we celebrate the marine and water ecosystems around us. One of the greatest barriers to a healthy ocean is our use of plastics. Not only do plastics release toxins into the environment, but they can physically tangle and strangle marine life, as well.
When we visited Robin’s Bay in Jamaica at Strawberry Fields Together back in January, we saw a sustainable way of life in which after a large storm hit, people cleaned up the beach immediately and worked together to do so.
But on other parts of the island, the trash was not cleaned up. And this is what it looked like, below:
If all of this plastic and trash was the result of just one tiny storm, can you imagine what it would look like after a hurricane? What do you think Puerto Rico looked like after it was hit massively, or Haiti when it has been hit many times with very limited resources? The results are unfathomable to us, those who are consuming and producing most of this plastic pollution.
Not only is Jamaica abundant in coastline as shown earlier, but it also has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Our hike guide above, Soul Je, showed us the way to this amazing waterfall. Much of his money comes from taking tourists on hikes and boat adventures, which are good eco-tourism initiatives that can be practiced easily and without exploiting the land or nearby people. The health of waterfalls, lakes, streams and other water environments directly has an impact on ocean systems, as they drain into the ocean. When these are kept pristine, the ocean ecosystems are more pristine and less polluted, as well.