Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Today, we started our day watching videos about CEAs mission and there job here in Akumal and in Mexico as a whole. We had two speakers come (Alma and David) to talk to us about what we can do while we're here. Alma described the conditions in Mexico having to do with the dangers posed to the coral reef and how that affects the turtles. For 1,000 turtles only 1 survives to adulthood. CEA monitors the turtles' nesting sites in Akumal bay and aids to protect the turtles so that that number can increase. We learned from David that many things are acting in concert to affect the coral reef system here. There is the global warming increasing the water temperature, which contributes to the unsuitable environment for the coral to live, also there is over nutrients due to improper waste management from tourists and hotel resorts. The surplus of nutrients also creates an unsuitable environment for the coral to grow. Also there are diseases affecting the coral such the black ring disease. In addition, natural disasters such as hurricanes can wipe out massive amounts of coral at one time. Because of all these things contributing to the reef destruction CEA started a program called Bay Watch - not the TV show. Bay Watch monitors the activity of tourists helping to ensure that they don't disturb the already precarious situation of the coral reef system or the turtles. David said that tourists will often chase turtles, try to swim with them, and stand on the coral, touch the coral, and leave garbage behind. This is where our group comes in. Having the extra bodies allows CEA to spread the word about the delicacy of the marine life and is able to encourage better eco-responsibility in tourist activities. This helped us to better understand the situation. It makes us feel more responsible for our actions, the environment, and the role that everyone and everything plays in maintaining a healthy environment. This is important because it's not just about being here doing volunteer work just to do volunteer work and to say we did it; Rather, it's about changing an entire wasteful mentality that allows people to take our position and environment for granted. We both felt that the lessons we learned today would be easily applicable to our everyday lives. It opened our eyes to the simplicity of taking care of the environment. For example, we talked about waiting to find a recycle bin rather than throwing any recyclable item in the trash. Also just the fact that we will be more conscious about the environment will be able to alter many different previously habitual actions that we have taken for granted. And hopefully by learning these things and taking them home we will be able to spread the ideas and influence others to act in a similarly environmentally conscious way.

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This page contains a single entry by Jessica Fremland published on December 30, 2010 7:48 AM.

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