I have returned to Herbaceous after a rejuvenating holiday to Far North Queensland. The tropical climate was a welcome change from the chilly Melbourne winter!
We were fortunate to spend an afternoon and evening out on the Low Isles, a sandy coral cay located 15kms off the coast of Port Douglas. Low Isles has been a research station since the 1920’s and is still a significant research site for the Great Barrier Reef. After a pleasant one hour catamaran trip from Port Douglas we were snorkelling in the warm 26 degree water! It was here that my great love and respect for nature and all things aquatic was once again reignited. A fantastic marine biologist was on the tour and her knowledge was excellent. The incredible diversity and resilience of the reef was explained to us, as well as it’s fragility.
As I slapped some sunscreen onto my pale wintery skin, I couldn’t help but think about the impact that humans have had on this magical underwater world. Sunscreen contains a chemical that scientists believe is causing massive damage to coral reefs worldwide and that threatens their very existence. Oxybenzone — also known as BP-3 or Benzophenone-3 — is found in more than 3,500 sunscreen products. You can read more about this at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-22/sunscreen-chemical-blamed-for-harm-to-coral-reefs/6876036
However it’s not all doom and gloom. Some of the brightest minds in the world are focused on decoding the secrets of the reef and uncovering the pressures that threaten it. You can find out more here: http://www.barrierreef.org/the-reef/the-solutions
And these images from Google Maps are just stunning – you can take a virtual tour of the reef at the following link: https://www.google.com.au/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/oceans/
We are all in this together and we are all responsible for looking after planet Earth.
So what can we do to get involved and make a difference?
Since coming home to Melbourne I have been pondering what I can do to help protect our own Port Phillip Bay. A good friend of mine Helen is involved in regular clean up activities around the bay. I’m getting on board too. If you are interested in helping out, go to: http://www.beachpatrol.com.au/BeachGroups
In other positive news you may be interested to know that microbeads, commonly found in face cleansers, are on the way out. For more information read the following link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-29/microbeads-ban-voluntary-environment-greg-hunt/7207482
I’ll leave you on a cheerful note! In Grade 2 at primary school we created a delightful papier mâché underwater world in art class, and I remember our teacher playing us “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles on the cassette player. Here is a snippet of the lyrics for your enjoyment:
“I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’s garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’s garden in the shade
I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’s garden with me.”
Have an imaginative month,
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