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Last Thursday, 8th June, was World Oceans Day.World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.It is to create an awareness of the wonders of the ocean and an understanding of how we can all help to save it.This last two weeks, in our room, we have been focusing on the ocean and the wondrous animals that live beneath the surface.The children have been fascinated.We've used this fascination to begin to instil a passion for the ocean and an understanding of how each person can help to save it.The last couple of days, the children are really developing an understanding.I believe the dying ocean is a big problem for our kids today.If we continue the way we are, by the time they are adults, there will be nothing left.Teaching children whilst they are young, encourages them to develop their own passion for ocean conservation which hopefully will continue into their adult years. It also makes them feel important – what they do now can help!They are an important part of this world – the believes they develop through life, shape the future of this planet.
As I mentioned, they have shown so much interest and displayed the beginnings of understanding through our discussions about Ocean conservation.I have used a couple of age appropriate You Tube clips to aid in our teaching.What would be even better, to really encourage them, is if you could talk about this at home with them.Some things you can speak about (and put into place as a family) are;
The ocean remains one of the most expansive, mysterious and diverse places on Earth. Unfortunately, it is being threatened by pollution from people on land and from natural causes. Marine life is dying, and as a result the whole oceanic ecosystem is threatened simply by various sources of pollution. If we are to preserve ocean and its natural beauty, drastic measures have to be taken to combat this pollution and keep what we hold most dear.
Fact 1: Plastic is the most common element that is found in the ocean. It is harmful for the environment as it does not get break down easily and is often considered as food by marine animals.
Fact 2: The biggest source of pollution in the ocean is directly from land based sources, such as oil, dirt, septic tanks, farms, ranches, motor vehicles, among larger sources. Thousands of tons of waste and trash are dumped into the ocean on a daily basis.
Fact 3: Over one million seabirds are killed by ocean pollution each year. Three hundred thousand dolphins and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, among other items. One hundred thousand sea mammals are killed in the ocean by pollution each year.
Fact 4: Oil is the fastest source of deterioration to the ocean, being far more harmful than trash and waste. However, only a small percentage of oil (around 12%) dumped in the ocean comes as a result of actual oil
spills. Most oil causing harm in the ocean is a result of drainage from land. Oil spills suffocate marine life to death, and leads to behavioural changes and a breakdown in thermal insulation to those that do survive. It essentially changes the entire ecosystem of an affected area, such as a long coastline or deep ocean.
Fact 5: Plastic debris can absorb toxic chemicals from ocean pollution, therefore poisoning whatever eats it.
In fact, plastic pollution is one of the most serious threats to the ocean. Plastic does not degrade; instead,
it breaks down into progressively smaller pieces, but never disappears. They then attract more debris. It
poses a significant health threat to the various sea creatures, and to the entire marine ecosystem. Overall,
plastic is the number one source of pollution in the ocean.
Fact 6: Small animals at the bottom of food chain absorb the chemicals as part of their food. These small
animals are then eaten by larger animals that again increases the concentration of chemicals. Animals at the
top of hierarchy of food chain have contamination levels millions times higher than the water in which
Fact 7: People get contaminated easily by eating contaminated seafood that can cause serious health
problems, from cancer to damage to immune system.
Fact 8: The garbage like plastic bottles, aluminium cans, shoes, packaging material – if not disposed
correctly, can reach the sea and the same garbage can again reach the sea shore where it pollutes beaches
and affects local tourism industry.
Fact 9: Salty water of ocean has the capability to move pollutants from the ocean into coastal freshwater
making wells and groundwater contaminated.
Fact 10:: As 70% of the earth is covered with water, people actually assumed that all pollutants would be
diluted and get disappeared. But in reality, they have not disappeared and their effects can be easily seen
as they have entered the food chain.
An extract - click here
As you can see, when the ocean is affected from our pollution – we are also affected by it.