This past Saturday I spent the morning with an amazing group of 105 girls, the Girl Scout Troop #6323 from Alpine, California. The girls invited me to talk about the importance of “not littering” and keeping our streets clean, but I decided to add one thing to the talk: our ocean! Though the community of Alpine is not “close” to the ocean, the girls learned how trash and other pollutants left in streets, near creeks or rivers, can affect our oceans and our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). It is important for us to see the BIG picture, just because we don’t see the trash doesn’t mean it’s gone.
The girls learned about San Diego’s new MPAs, which was a new concept for them, and all the different marine wildlife they can encounter in those areas. Like one girl said “so they are better than aquariums?” YES! You can see animals in their natural habitats, but you have to be very careful because they are protected by law so future generations can also enjoy them. The girls were so excited they could’t wait to tell their parents that they could go kayaking or snorkeling in these areas.
After we talked about MPAs, we dove in to how to keep them clean and healthy. We discussed different ways to make sure trash or any other pollutants don’t end up in the ocean were animals and humans can get hurt by them.
Let’s remember that even though you might not live “close” to the ocean, we do live in a coastal state and everything we do, the choices we make, can affect the state of our oceans.
Marine Coordinator, WILDCOAST