Balance with nature is what we need to coexist with our planet and the millions of other beings we share it with, but we will only achieve this balance if we continue to use the power of our voice and our ability to vote to start turning the tide before its too late! I'll use Florida as an example.
Florida's coral reefs came into existence nearly 10,000 years ago when sea levels rose following the last Ice Age, creating a vibrant 200 nautical mile stretch of life and color down Floridas coast that has acted as a barrier to the coast by protecting it from erosion and hurricanes as well as providing an abundance of life for humans and other beings alike to thrive on! Over these thousands of years the reef grew slowly; with individual colonies growing only one-half an inch to seven inches a year, depending on the species. During long periods of favorable conditions (like stable temperatures and clean water) the reefs reached awe-inspiring heights and diversity.
However, over the last six years, Florida’s coral reefs have been experiencing a multi-year outbreak of coral disease. While disease outbreaks are not uncommon, especially in today's changing climate, this event is unique due to the number of coral species affected across a large portion of the Florida Reef Tract, and the ongoing nature of the event. To this day in 2019, the outbreak is estimated to have resulted in the mortality of millions of corals, and some suspect why it's happening is due to poor water management, sewage leakage and localized ocean acidification due to being so close to a massive city like Miami. We cannot afford to have apathy to this problem, not just because it is morally and ethically right to protect this precious life, but because Florida's economy and the livelihoods of millions of people literally depend on a healthy Florida coral reef!
What will happen to the eco-tourism and the beaches that sustain Florida when it disappears? What will protect the beaches from erosion, and hurricanes when the wall of corals are all gone? What will happen to the local fisherman who sustainably fish and connects people with nature when they can longer fish because there aren't enough in the water to sustain a livelihood? Who are the people and the animals that will suffer? We need to think about these hard questions because they're terrifyingly relevant.
We need to support change with our voice today and every day onwards through social media and word of mouth, by sharing the stories of what's happening to this precious place with the rest of the US and the world. We can't afford to have apathy, because it's our lives and livelihoods on the line if we don't speak up and protect what we love! By supporting organizations like @floridaaquairum @coralrestorationfoundation @noaa @keysmarinelab and @motemarinelab you are directly helping the preservation of the corals we depend on. These organizations are dedicated to growing resilient corals, out-planting new corals on now barren reefs, and educating the public on the importance of our reef's health. You can even get involved as a citizen scientist by volunteering with any of these organizations and even diving with them to plant corals on the reef! We need you, now more than ever! Please share with a friend if you agree!
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