Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It is common knowledge that 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, and of this total, 97% are ocean and sea waters which are unfit for drinking or agriculture. Most of the Planet´s fresh water is trapped in ice caps and glaciers or stored underground.
The rivers are drying up and becoming contaminated by pesticides used on crops and are affected by uncontrolled deforestation and mining. The main environmental pollution is caused by man´s lack of consciousness, who dumps in the rivers and oceans untreated effluents and junks considered useless such as cans, glass, plastic bottles and other pollutant objects. Nevertheless life goes on in the water.
To better judge the importance of preserving clean water, it is fundamental to know its cycle: the liquid water existing on the surface of the earth evaporates and becomes water vapor, which mixes with the atmospheric air. As this vapor cools down it condensates and becomes water particles that form the clouds. The clouds droplets increase in sized to the point that the air movement can no longer support them and they fall to the earth surface in form of rain which makes fields fertile and provide drinking water to human beings and other species. It is then obvious the importance of preserving this cycle which depends on keeping our oceans and air clean.
Besides man´s survival, marine life also depends on the state of cleanliness of the ocean water. There are plants, fishes and other animals, such as turtles which die because of the water pollution.  In addition fishing nets made of nylon have being used by fishing boats and many end up getting lost, becoming “ghost” nets as they continue fishing uncontrollably, capturing and causing drowning of seals, seabirds, dolphins and whales.
The origin of life on our planet has begun in the water. Over millions of years of evolution living organisms have diversified and spread to earth, therefore all plants and animals species are still connected to the water.  Polluting the water is breaking our link with our origin and it may have serious and unpredictable consequences.
In the field trip to Castle Island it became clear to me how important water is for human kind. There were so many people enjoying the weather and the closeness with the water. The beach is man-made and the tide is controlled by the “Tide Gates” where we had the chance to identify several species of marine life such as blue mussels, barnicate,  lots of periwinkles, green crab and for the first time barking crabs.
Mr. Ken Kapocis of the EPA, lectured us on the project Save the Harbor Save the Bay and became clear to me how easy it is for man to destroy its environment compared to the hardships of “fixing” and rebuilding it.
The success of this class lies on its ability to change or awaken students’ perception of how fragile our environment is and how careless man can be with relation to it.

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