Swimming in the ocean last weekend inspired me to share my thoughts regarding the condition of my local ocean water.
Tropical Storm Isaac whirled through our area the week prior, and while there was no perceived “damage” other than excessive rain and wind, I believe there are severe consequences; not from Issac, from our actions. Injury to our fragile eco system. Devastation that far exceeds branches being knocked to the ground or your patio umbrella being impaled into the neighbor’s yard.
The coastline is my playground, my sanctuary of reprieve from my everyday involved life. While I sat on the beach, I was shocked at the color of the water. Tannin. Brown. Dirty. Gross. Even the foamy little white caps were tinged a burnt caramel color. The almighty Atlantic Ocean had transformed into Lake Atlantica. What happened? Our precious ocean was full of our run-off. The recent excessive rain had sunk into the ground, made its way into our local rivers and lakes, and now hugged the shoreline I love so much. Pesticides and herbicides that we (as a culture) spray onto our food to kill unwanted pests. Residue from the continued efforts to keep the alien grass of our countless golf courses shiny green. Remnants of the efforts to keep our manicured lawn prettier than the Joneses.
Of course the Atlantic Ocean can handle this and in the end, I do believe our Earth will persevere. But, in the meantime, we are killing the delicately balanced coral reef ecosystem located all along the south eastern coastal region. As a SCUBA diver who has volunteered for NOAA and The Nature Conservancy ofﬁces located in the Florida Keys, I have seen the sad state of pearly white coral being eaten away by such chemical excess. One of purposes of a coral reef is to protect the land from extreme wind and high waves that accompany hurricanes. When we douche our land in poison, in actuality we are setting the table for more damage from the very thing many of us greatly fear.
For example, remember the bottomless effect of your choice the next time you chose conventionally grown fruits and vegetables over organically grown. Superﬁcially it may effect your wallet, but really folks, in the big picture – by how much? Not to mention, internally it may seriously impact the quality of your health – take a look around at the supporters of the S.A.D. (standard american diet). And globally the dangers are countless.
If you wash your own car, use castile soap and white vinegar. Forego the neon green washing liquid that claims to brighten your car more than any other, that’s called marketing. If you don’t wash your car, do. Or hire someone who is conscious about the products they’re using or offer to provide your own. Because that very water the runs down the driveway and into the drainage system ends up in the ocean.
With the invention of the world wide web, obtaining information about local suppliers that offer less toxic possibilities has never been easier. Finding recipes and solutions online for alternative home care products is a breeze. If you have a small garden, learn about companion planting or other organic options. If that’s not your fancy, shop the farmers market for locally grown organic produce and your palate will melt into the sweet homegrown taste. Consider switching your yard to xeriscaping, imbibing native plants vs alien ones, observe the decline of your water bill while your plants and ﬂowers ﬂourish with minimal attention. Encourage the caretakers of your favorite golf course to support companies that suggest less lethal measures. There are many tools we can implement to ensure a more pure and clean world.
Our decisions do make a difference … small ripples ﬂow outward.
also published: www.thewellwrittenwoman.com