Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hmmmmm.... Contemplation about the value of having clean water means to me

I decided to focus on salt-water places for my blog post, and not drinking water. Other’s blog posts were very compelling, and I do recognize the need for access to clean drinking water as being a major problem, in many countries, and would like to have also focused a little more on that subject if I had a change to write this earlier in the evening.

If you asked me before this class began if clean water in our harbor was a core value of mine, I would have probably answered…. Hmmmm…. “To some extent”.  I would have probably said that a clean Boston harbor was not very important to me because I knew nothing of it, besides maybe one or two trips to the Long Wharf in the 5 years I have lived here. I also visited revere beach and some others about an hour up the coast but didn’t enjoy them, mostly because of the huge crowds and finding the water too cold for me to swim in, especially compared to other beaches I have been to. I have enjoyed beaches all around the world, in different countries and in various parts of the US, including, in mass, the beaches on the cape and on Nantucket.

After taking this class my views have changed. Although it is not an issue that I would define as being very “close to my heart”, like issues such as mental health treatment and education, especially for population of low socio-economic status, I would still say that it is very important to me. I have loved all the experiences we have had in and around out clean harbor, most of which I didn’t know existed.

Today the issue of clean water in the harbor reached a bit “closer to my heart” when I saw all of these kids, from various walks of live and programs, enjoying and using the beach, as well as gaining education from it. I love working with kids, and have worked with them, at a daycare for homeless children as well as a private day care. Seeing and talking with the kids around how much fun they were having was so awesome for me! What a great and assessable place for kids to play and learn! This made me very happy that we have a clean harbor.

It also seemed as though there were people of all ages, races, and from different walks of life doing a countless number of activities in and around the harbor, and I do value what is important to others, especially in their own communities.

Beyond what I saw today, a clean harbor and clean ocean impacting people enjoying the water and engaging in recreational activities. I think the impact of clean water is even more far reaching. Things that come to mind are that clean water impacts fishermen and their families, as well as possible real estate and development. Also, the clean harbor and other bodies of clean ocean bring in business and jobs, something we need in this economy. In terms of real estate, who would want to buy a house if they had the choice next to a body of dirty water?

For me personally, I value clean beaches because it helps the livelihood of others and have enjoyed them by the sound of the waves, whale watching, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. I think I enjoy fishing the most, and remember when I was about 12 years old and caught a Dorado (mahi mahi), almost ¾ of my size, and was able to eat it that evening! That experience was awesome and would not have been possible if the oceans were polluted.

I definitely do value a clean harbor, but if you gave me the money it cost to clean it up, restore the islands, and keep it clean and functioning, I don’t know that I would not want to put that money towards public education, or mental healthcare for those who cannot pay “out of pocket”. With that said, I’m glad that the investments have been made for our harbor and a now probably my most favorite gem of this city.

-Liza Zipursky

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