by Katherine Clukey, Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Pollution in our environment is a serious threat to the balance and flow of our natural ecosystems. Marine habitats are especially vulnerable to pollution as oceanic currents, gyres, and winds collect and accumulate debris threatening marine life, fishing, and economies. Being that every river leads to the sea and the ocean is downhill from everywhere, the responsibility of marine pollution comes down to us all. Plastic, in particular, is a very resilient form of pollution as is does not biodegrade, instead it photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces but never really disappears. Plastic debris has been found in all the world’s oceans and continues accumulating from polar regions to the equator, from highly populated coast lines to remote oceanic islands. Marine creatures often mistake small plastic fragments as prey and it has been estimated that over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.
Here in Costa Rica, our research stations are situated in the thick rainforest of the Osa Peninsula where we are surrounded by rich biodiversity and many rivers that all lead to the sea. Everyday we explore our trails, we hike down to the beach, and we walk for kilometers along the coast in search of nesting sea turtles. We see, feel, and understand the beauty of our natural world everyday. For that, Osa Conservation has collaborated with Take 3! in Australia in an effort to do our part in the fight against pollution. Take 3 is a non-profit organization based in Australia and formed in 2009 that aims to raise awareness of marine debris by simply asking each visitor to the beach, waterway or anywhere to take 3 pieces of trash when they leave. Inspired by this conscious initiative, we as well feel an easy way for everyone in the Osa Peninsula to contribute to the protection of our natural world is by encouraging all of our visitors and all of our community members to simply take 3 pieces of trash when they leave the beach, river, jungle or everywhere.
The Take 3! pledge is simple:
- NEVER litter and Take 3 pieces of trash whenever you visit the beach, river or anywhere!
- REUSE disposable plastic products like plastic bags, plastic bottles, coffee cups and straws. Use reusable alternatives instead.
- SHARE this information with at least 3 people.
Here at Osa Conservation, we are fully committed to the protection of our natural world. We are excited for this contribution to the wellbeing of our environment and how little by little, together, we are making a difference.
Please visit the Take 3 website to learn more about marine pollution and ways you can help. www.take3.org.au
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