Connor’s Post

Last winter I took a research trip to the Bahamas with some classmates and a couple of teachers. My intention for the trip was to have a relaxing getaway in a tropical location and enjoy the week off from school, but over the course of the week I began to see the ocean in a different light. The first day we got there I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I had to process whether it be learning different types of fish species to how to swim blindly under water with nothing but a scuba tank. The daily routine would begin with a three mile run/swim at six in the morning, then would transition to classes focused on marine biology, and would end with a scuba lesson. Since we would spend all day either in the water or on the boat, I began to appreciate the ocean and its inhabitants as we traveled from location to location glancing upon numerous different species. My favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to work with turtle researchers on placing something called a turtle cam on baby turtles because there is little research done on younger turtles who’s mortality rates are slowly increasing.
Though it was very exciting to be able to work in the field with research professionals, I couldn’t help but get sad every time we would speak about the current state of the natural world. Every time our group would go on a scuba or research trip it got continuously harder and harder to find a certain species or the overall biodiversity of the spot would be much less than they were in previous years. On some scuba trips I would only see half of the corals still standing, making them look like a barren waste land. Invasive species like the lionfish eradicated some of the reefs that were once plentiful and full of life. One snail named the queen conch, which is crucial to the local ecosystem, is going extinct due to over-fishing and is predicted to be gone in the next two years. It was astounding to me that even though conch is on the verge of going extinct, that government regulations have still not been put in place to protect them, and that the snail is still one of the most popular items on every menu on the island. This trip made me realize the cold hard truth that in most cases a consumers themselves cannot change the way a business runs, but only through strict regulations and policy can something be accomplished. Consumers are not the ones that will change the ingredients in sun screen to help safe coral reefs simply because not enough individuals are educated on it nor will most of them put the effort into trying to change their habits. The best way to make an impact in this day in age is through advocacy and policy. One of the best things one can do to help improve the environment is voting in a leader who will make those changes rather than be ignorant. If we spread the word on how urgent this situation is and educate those who are uninformed then we can work towards encouraging leaders to take big steps in making this world a greener place.

11 Replies to “Connor’s Post”

  1. Overall, I liked the blog starting out with a story of a trip going to the Bahamas. Before introducing the idea of over-fishing and the effects of tourism, you should have presented some background info. Like, what were you hoping the Bahamas would look like? Towards the end of the blog, when you mentioned “encouraging leaders to take big steps”, what might be “big steps”? What kind of “advocacy and policy”? It could be more specific. Be sure to include transitions like furthermore, in addition, nevertheless.

  2. I don’t think people would have realized the seriousness of the problem if they hadn’t personally experienced the extent of the destruction of the environment. I’m sorry to see the ecological damage in the Bahamas right now. I couldn’t agree with you more. There are too many conflicts of interest for most people to protect the environment. I’m sure most factories won’t use more expensive raw materials to protect the environment, so their profit will be less. Most people don’t give up sunscreen to protect coral reefs. They don’t even know it can harm coral reefs. As you mentioned in your blog, goals can only be achieved through advocacy and policy. Because they can regulate people’s behavior. It seems that people have to be “forced” to protect the environment.

  3. I liked how you went in-depth bout your personal experiences and how it made you come to the realization that the Earth’s environment continues to get destroyed. I also liked how discussed what you specifically saw and what species were going extinct, and how that affected the environment around it. The conclusion of your blog post was good and I liked how you offered a possible method of making a change to climate change.

  4. Hey Connor, I really liked learning about the unique experience you had with getting up close and personal with climate change. I like how you created pictures and gave descriptive examples of your Bahamas trip. It’s obvious you are interested and knowledgable on the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts on possible solutions to issues like helping the coral reefs and ocean health.

  5. Your entire experience at the Bahamas just straight out beat my own personal experiences, and this is a compliment! I really liked how you described your trip to the Bahamas. I thought it was amazing to see someone actually go deeper into the ocean and look at sea turtles. You clearly know what you are talking about. I also agree that we should do something about dying populations and many other species in the world. Your last few sentences were interesting. I do not know why there are no leaders that would step up and take the bull by the horns. We do not want another Dodo bird incident.

  6. I really enjoyed reading about your experience in the Bahamas because I had a similar experience in the past. In my opinion, opening up a blog with a personal anecdote is very powerful because it shows your personal connection to the issue and how it became important to you in the first place. I also like how you did not stick to only telling a story, you transitioned from it to how to solve it because that is what everyone is talking about these days. The idea of a leader who is devoted to saving the environment is a great idea because it is hard for normal people without a significant platform to make a change.

  7. I really enjoyed your post, especially how you related your own experiences with how the ocean is changing. I think many people get interested in environmentalism by personal experiences, I know I did. If someone has not had the opportunity to experience something like you did, reading a post like yours might inspire them to be more aware of the importance of preserving biodiversity.

  8. Overall, I liked the way that you included your personal experience of your trip to the Bahamas. It was interesting to learn about what you did on the trip and what you got to see involving marine life and the ocean. Its very cool how this experience was able to connect you to why you care and why you want to promote the earth. I like your ideas about how you believe we can improve the ocean and marine life. Many people believe that it comes from just peoples changes, but a big part of it is also the leaders and the people who are promoting this change.

  9. Connor, this story about your journey in the Bahamas is incredible! I loved learning about how you witnessed the effects of climate change on nature’s ecosystems firsthand. Many people usually personalize their arguments for environmentalism by arguing that inaction would threaten their day to day lives as human beings. Your blog makes the case for action beyond the human experience by leveraging our sympathy for animals we don’t encounter all of the time. It’s one thing to start recycling to stop your hometown from being flooded and another to care about baby turtles!

  10. I really liked the way you added a story to each detail about climate change you mentioned, it reminded me of The Sixth Extinction. Bringing up the specific tale of the conch and using it to highlight how so many people and policymakers are preaching for change in the future but looking the other way to endangered species that could be saved in this generation.

  11. I agree with your idea that sometimes people don’t know that their behavior harms the environment. So raising people’s awareness of protecting the environment is very important, and it also needs stricter laws.

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