Monday, October 15, 2012

Be the Change - For Sea Animals

Marine plastics kill untold numbers of sea animals - turtles, seabirds, marine mammals - each year. One of the seemingly harmless yet common and disastrous articles we unwittingly place in the sea is balloons. They represent childhood innocence and the carefree days of spring and summer, but balloons are deadly. They can drift thousands of miles to settle on the ocean's surface, and they are basically indestructible.

Don't take my word for it - click here for more information. 


Luckily this one washed ashore before it was mistaken for a jellyfish by a sea turtle or dolphin.
Here's a March 2011 quote from SeaTurtle.org:

In 2009, marine biologists with Disney's Animal Programs in Melbourne Beach, Florida, discovered a green sea turtle that was having trouble digesting food. They found that a piece of plastic had lodged in the turtle's gastrointestinal tract. When biologists removed the obstruction, the turtle defecated 74 foreign objects in the subsequent month. Among the items documented were four types of latex balloons, five different types of string, nine different types of soft plastic, four different types of hard plastic, a piece of carpet-like material, and two tar balls to boot.
The list of items from this one turtle read like a catalog of a growing and deadly concern for virtually all marine animals-single-use plastics are having a lethal effect on animals living in the sea.
This photo is courtesy of Ocean Conservancy to a Longwood University article.


What can you do? If you visit a grocery store that gives away helium balloons to children, don't take one! Discourage friends from events where mass balloon releases are planned. Be aware that you will be part of a global movement to ban the release and indiscriminate sales of party balloons.  
For more ideas, visit the Ocean Conservancy website.

Thanks for caring. Please visit the other Blog for the Change websites.

8 comments:

  1. Yes - I knew that about balloons - I always get the frownie face when I try to tell people about it. They think I am a spoil sport. Well, they are spoiling the ocean's creatures! Not to mention other critters that may accidentally ingest the balloons or string. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Thank you for trying to spread awareness!

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  2. so happy to see someone blogging about the sea animals. Super important cause! Thank you!

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    1. Marine wildlife is such a concern. Plastics, the growing acidity of the water, overfishing, new sonar... the list is so long. Thanks for reading and caring.

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  3. Such an important cause - I'm glad you decided to highlight it for Blog the Change. I think that this is an issue many people aren't aware of and it's awesome that you decided to focus on it.

    A.J.
    Be the Change for Animals
    I Still Want More Puppies

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    1. Thank you. I agree, it's not well known and so easy for individuals to make a difference.

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  4. The amount of trash in the ocean is a serious problem. Thank you for pointing out balloons, specifically. I was blown away to read that a conservative estimate places 315 billion pounds of plastic in the oceans right now. And as it breaks down, toxic chemicals are release into the water.

    At the same time, at a family gathering this summer, kids' and guests had 16 plastic water bottles left half consumed and abandoned on the counter because nobody knew whose were whose. The mother said it's always like that at her house. This from a family who lives in America with clean water coming out of the tap. I don't understand.

    It takes so little to change a thought and for that thought to change an action, if we care. When I mentioned the ocean/plastic issue in the above situation, the response was that the bottles go in recycling, not the ocean. You have to care to change the thought that changes the action.

    I hope you changed some thoughts here today.

    Thanks so much for Blogging the Change!

    Kim Clune
    Director: http://BetheChangeforAnimals.com
    Blogger: http://thisonewildlife.com


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  5. You are so right and I share your hope. Thank you for hosting Blog the Change for Animals. I hope it will continue next year.

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