How 14 Days In the Yucatan Made Me Realize the Value of Planet Earth Part 1
Posted Jul 11 2009 11:02pm
Summer is here and most of us are looking forward to a respite from our life. The summertime getaway. Might I suggest a green solution? Take an eco-trip. You will see beauty, have an adventure, and learn about our world.
My family and I took the eco-journey of a lifetime this year into the jungles, caves, and ocean of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Above you see me getting ready to zipline across a jungle – note the giant grin – it was a blast! I wrote and posted a blog every day for fourteen days about our journey using greening and eco-nature information as a tool to educate readers about environmental concerns in the world.
Understanding the fact that we impact all of the world, not just our little corner is so important. For example, areas of coral are dying out in the Yucatan from our fertilizer run-off. If the chemicals do not go down into our water aquifer, they are whooshed out through the storm water system. All those chemicals then react with ocean life – ultimately causing green blooms and death where ever the chemicals settle. This is disastrous for coral.
Who taught me that? An amazing man in Akumal, Mexico named Paul Sanchez- Navarro who is the Director of Centro Ecological Akumal (Photo to the right). He explained how nearly one quarter of all marine species are believed to depend on coral at some stage of their development. Many fish live their entire lives on reefs, while others use them as nurseries; if the coral dies out it is assumed the fish will too. The economic impact of losing coral is also significant – in the billions of dollars worldwide.
There were so many questions I wanted answered when I returned from the trip. What will happen if we are unable to provide fish for the world to eat? Will people starve? Without the coral and fish, millions of people will lose their jobs and be unable to support themselves. Without smaller fish which inhabit the coral reefs will all the larger fish die such as tuna and shark – the very same fish we use to feed our nation?
We went to jungles, beaches, caves, and protected eco-parks throughout the Yucatan Peninsula area and experienced some incredible things in nature, but one of the most powerful messages I saw everywhere we went is that you have an impact on planet earth. What we do here in the U.S. directly touches the rest of the world.
Make a difference for planet earth – start paying attention to the chemicals, fertilizers, and products you use at home that might be making a difference half-way around the world.