Life evolved to live within limits. It’s a delicate balance. Humans need oxygen, but too much can kill us. Plants need nitrogen, but excess nitrogen harms them, and pollutes rivers, lakes and oceans. Ecosystems are complex. Our health and survival depend on intricate interactions that ensure we get the right amounts of clean air, water, food from productive soils and energy from the sun.
Browsing: Environmental News
The Whitsundays is a collection of 74 islands off of Australia’s central east coast and part of the majestic world heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef. Second only to Cairns, it is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit the reef. It attracts nearly 600,000 visitors each year with over 300 tour boats in operation. Due to the popularity of this particularly beautiful and accessible part of the reef, much damage has been caused due to the dropping of anchors. This habitat loss has then become one of the most widespread causes of marine species decline on the Great Barrier Reef.
We got nine divers together from the Vancouver Diving Locker on Sept. 18 to clean up some of the junk that got collected over the summer months at Buntzen Lake. After meeting in the morning to sort out all gear rentals, mesh bags and lights we travelled to beautiful Buntzen Lake. Some divers meeting us there were already on the site with their gear ready to go and keen to get that lake cleaned up.
Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least seven million years, as indicated by fossils of large saber-tooth salmon found in the area. During that time, they’ve been a key species in intricate, interconnected coastal ecosystems, bringing nitrogen and other nutrients from the ocean and up streams and rivers to spawning grounds, feeding whales, bears and eagles and fertilizing the magnificent coastal rainforests along the way.
In July, Solar Impulse 2 became the first airplane to fly around the world without using fuel. At the same time, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been working on electric planes. These developments mean air travel and transport could become more environmentally friendly, with less pollution and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and planes would be quieter.
Something can always be done to help prepare for marine events such as oil spills and coral and if we don’t put efforts in during our lifetime, the current state will not be any better for the next generations to come. We know that all journeys begin with a single step and it has to start somewhere, so at The World Federation for Coral Reef Conservation we work to ensure our actions will see results within years not lifetimes.
Humans are the world’s top predator. The way we fulfil this role is often mired in controversy, from factory farming to trophy hunting to predator control. The latter is the process governments use to kill carnivores like wolves, coyotes and cougars to stop them from hunting threatened species like caribou — even though human activity is the root cause of caribou’s decline.
The Red Sea has always been convenient, close and with the promise of clear, warm waters. It has also always had the capacity to surprise, with sightings big and small every year to delight divers. Right now though, it is on a hot streak and is delivering delights that we haven’t had since the pioneer days of Red Sea diving.
It’s been shocking to watch news of the Brexit vote in Britain, Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and the ongoing threats and violence against ethnic minorities in many parts of the world. I’m not a political or social scientist, but my training as a biologist gives me some insight.