Month: December 2013

Fishing the Fish needs to Finish

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Fishing the Fish needs to Finish

One of my favorite movies as a kid and now being older is Finding Nemo. There are so many meanings that the movie presents and can be taken so many different ways by so many different people, that’s why I like it. Finding Nemo did what I believe an outstanding job presenting real like problems in a children’s movie. Throughout the movie it was clear about what issues they felt were happening with out coral reefs and our fish population. As someone who watched the movie many times I notice new things each time I watch it, each time a different scene stands out to me and makes me realize more and more how much we are truly affecting the coral reefs and the fish in the ocean.

One of the top scene that stood out to me was when Nemo and his friends are scared to touch the “butt” which they refer to as the boat. This is a cute way of putting it but what it is really representing is that the fish are scared of the boat and of humans. They are scared of everything that we do and that we are going to catch them and take them away. In the movie Nemo and his friends were scared they were going to get caught and get taken away from their family. This is to me represented that if the fish know what a boat is and they are scared of us it’s because they know what we are trying to do to them. Also going along with that scene when the dentist catches nemo and brings him back to his fish tank in his office, it has a lot of fish in there. The fish in the tank at one point say that it is over crowded. This was a huge part that stood out to me that we are recreational fishing and it is causing over crowding in fish tanks and aquariums.

Recreational fishing is being over done by us and his hurting the animals as Finding Nemo shows that first hand in the movie. It is not being done for valuable enough reasons and we are just taking fish away from where they belong to over crowd them in a tank. Also by trying to catch the right fish to put in the tanks sometimes hundreds or ever more fish are being killed in the process. We need to stop recreational fishing, it is not good for the fish and it is killing off their population in the ocean and in their natural habitat.

Another problem the movie Finding Nemo presented was how awful our coral reefs are. It opens up with the scene of a perfect looking calm coral reef, then automatically switches to a crazy mad coral reef with fish everywhere hiding and things not as perfectly beautiful as they were in just the previous scene. The other scene in the movie where it is proved we aren’t treating our coral reefs correctly is when some of the fish find the scuba diving mask rapped up on a coral reef. That just shows how careless we are about our ocean. The last scene that stood out to me about coral reefs is where the sharks lived; they lived in sunken submarines and bombs that were left by us humans. This is not right of us to be destroying coral reefs and not caring about them when it is something so beautiful we have and also animal’s homes.

Overall Finding Nemo is a movie that has a lot more to say than to just children. It was a message to all of society done in my opinion very well. It stated the many issues we have, and it is an easy fix. Don’t recreational fish, be careful and cautious of the things we leave and throw into the ocean.

 

 

http://baynature.org/2013/11/06/report-shows-decline-in-delta-fish-populations/

 

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/students/coral/coral5.htmclown-fish-ocean-park coral_reef

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The Earth is Getting Warmer and Warmer

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The Earth is Getting Warmer and Warmer

 

Global warming is a topic that gets many people worked up if you believe in it or if you don’t believe it exist. Usually when the topic is brought up it can either start a great opener to a conversation or could cause quite the debate. People have their own opinion on global warming and most is usually one extreme or the next. People either believe 100% in global warming or some 100% don’t believe in it at all. Than there are those who are neutral or don’t really care too much about it. I use to be the person who was neutral or just didn’t care either way. Through some of my recent research I have switched sides and believe in global warming. Although I do believe in global warming I am not an environmentalist.

 

Through my research on global warming, there is no way to hide that the earth is naturally warming up. There for global warming is indeed happening weather everyone believes it or not. There have been many people who have talked about the problems of global warming. There have been many authors who have written books and articles about the facts they have found and there opinion. Bill McKibben being one of the more popular global warming authors said in his book Eaarth, “Earth has died… but Eaarth offers a few solutions.” By McKibben saying this he is showing how many problems earth has and they are written in his book but he also offers us many solutions in his book. McKibben states in his book many issues but one that truly stood out to me was the fact that the sea level is rising because of all the ice that is melting. The ice melting is a clear sign that our earth is going through global warming. The ice in the coldest parts or our world is melting; nothing more than that statement can prove that our earth is warming up. McKibben shows that there are many issues through out our earth that are causing our world to get warmer and ruin it, but that one stood directly out to me, and hopefully stands out to you.

 

Although there are many issues with our earth warming up and us humans taking advantage of it there are many ways to prevent this issue and really turn it around for the better. I encourage everyone and anyone to take these things in consideration to help our earth and protect it from the awful things we have already done to it.  It is surely going to take some effort from everyone on earth but something that is able to be done. This change is going to involve many lifestyle changes which is going to be hard for everyone especially us here in America. Some of these lifestyle changes include choosing renewable energy. This is energy that uses some of its power that is natural. For example it could get its power from the wind, solar energy, or even the sun to get it powered up! This is an awesome first step for us human to help our earth. Another way we could ne completely aware of where we ruin the earth is with our cars. An easy way to reduce the use of our cars and putting all the bad gas into the air is as simple as carpooling. Using the least amount of cars as possible is a small start but an great start to reducing the bad pollution we put into the air!

 

Although some of these things might cause us big changes it is definitely doable an easy fixes if we just try to. I hope this has informed you and you create the change we want to see in the world to create us a longer lasting beautiful earth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“How to Fight Global Warming” http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/gsteps.asp

 

“How to reduce global warming” http://www.howtoreduceglobalwarming.com

 

McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a New Life on a Tough New Planet. New York: Times, 2010.Print.2634185033_fb1473439b_b_0 carpool2

McKibben’s Eaarth: A Painful Read

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Hello all! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our blog. This is all very near and dear to us, and we hope that you will understand the reason we are trying to reach out and make a real difference in our environment!

 

For the incoming freshman at the University of Tennessee, we were required to read Eaarth by Bill McKibben. I always end up reading these books, but I am here to tell you that this is the one book that I honestly could not get through.

 

The majority of the book, McKibben just recites facts and statistics on global warming. There was very few times where his thoughts and opinions were even expressed in the book. This is a very big reason as to why this was such a painful read. The structure of the book was also difficult to keep focus on. Many times I would be reading and realize that I did not even remember a word I had just read. And I was really trying hard to focus on this book! The chapters were all extremely long with out much transition to keep the flow going. It felt a lot like reading a textbook to me, which no one really ever wants to have to do that! I think that McKibben had some great ideas and examples, but they were lost in the scheme of things. It was hard to really take away the main ideas and important examples when it all seemed to run together.

 

McKibben had good intentions, but did not quite succeed in reaching and effectively calling his readers to action. This call to action is extremely important because the severity of our global warming issue is due to the lack of drive from Americans to change the way we are living our life. It is imperative that Americans get this much-needed education about the current problems our environment face. Currently, Americans do not quite have enough information to really see how much their actions are really affecting the environment. Bill McKibben had a real chance to positively impact Americans with his book, but he just did not succeed in this.

 

Bill McKibben’s main solution to the environmental crisis that we are currently facing is to have each person realize that he or she can actually make a difference. He proposes recycling as a key solution that would be an easy thing for each and every one to do. I have really tried to become more aware of my actions since coming to college. I make sure to turn off the lights, unplug devices, use less water, carpool, and recycle more. These are all very small steps, but with the proper education and accommodations, Americans have the potential to make a huge difference by just making small changes to their everyday life. In order to implement this, I believe that eventually the government needs to get involved. By doing so, there can be bigger changes and more positive impacts for our environment.

 

Check out Bill McKibben’s Eaarth for more information or buy his book at http://www.amazon.com/Eaarth-Making-Life-Tough-Planet/dp/0312541198/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385849044&sr=1-1&keywords=earth+by+bill+mckibben

Cleaning Water for Our Alma Mater

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Tags: Local Environmental Issues

Water is the foundation for prosperous communities, and terrifyingly, dirty water is our world’s biggest health risk. Dirty water leads to three key issues: contaminated drinking water, habitat degeneration, and beach closure. The United States Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act of 1972 establishes structure for regulating discharges of pollutants and quality standards for waters in our country. The EPA implements pollution control programs, sets water quality standards for contaminants in surface water, and controls discharges. The Office of Water ensures drinking water is safe and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic systems. Defending the Clean Water Act and upholding your responsibility to conserve will protect our health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide a safe habitat for marine organisms, plants, and wildlife.

Water sustains all life, so it is imperative for us to value our water supply. First, we must control the climate change to avoid overdrawn and polluted lakes and rivers, like our beloved Tennessee River. The continuing melting of glaciers worldwide has great potential to drown large regions of land that house millions of people. Second, as our atmosphere warms, so does the water. The steep rise in water temperature depletes oxygen supply and interrupts nutrient distribution. The water then lacks basic protection and becomes more vulnerable to pollution from factory farms, industrial plants, and fracking. “Lagoons” on industrial farms store and dispose of animal waste. But when they leak, they release antibiotic residue and harmful bacteria. If you are not directly consuming these pollutants through your drinking water, then you are ingesting them through the food you consume that either swam in or drank the contaminated water. Waste is an affordable and efficient fertilizer that seeps into our soil and into our ecosystem. Third, toxic chemicals, dirt, trash, and disease-carrying organisms run off of roofs and roads and pollute our water. The temperature fluctuation, dissolved oxygen, irregular pH levels, erosion, sedimentation, runoff, and decayed organic material severely threaten our quality of life and public health.

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Have you ever been to the beach? Or how about a Tennessee football game? Those are two of my favorite things!

There is no national obligation for protecting the public from unsafe swimming water. However, testing beach water for bacteria levels that exceed health standards varies depending on the beach and state. How disappointing will it be the day your family beach trip or the spring break trip, where the Vols take over Panama City Beach, gets cancelled due to the beach closing based on the health advisory? Also, the water will be unable to support the admirable marine life that contributes so greatly to the environment.  In fact, almost half of the endangered species are animals that eat water-dependant plants or live in the water. As I reminisce on my beach memories of chasing the minnows, catching jellyfish, hunting for Starfish and Hermit Crabs, and holding a sea turtle, I could not imagine stripping these experiences away from kids in future generations! If saving the beaches isn’t enough, your volunteer pride should be motivation! Neyland Stadium is one of three stadiums that can be accessed by both land and water! Our Vol Navy, consisting of around 200 boats, “dockgate” on game day. In order to maintain the uniquely Volunteer tradition of celebrating on the water, we must protect the iconic Tennessee River.

Water protecting strategies can eliminate these catastrophes! You can give life by conserving water. Practice and promote simplistic water efficient strategies like shorter showers, turning the water off when you brush your teeth, and washing bigger loads of laundry. You can also do your part by defending the Clean Water Act and advocating green infrastructure that controls storm water and sewer overflows. Also, NRDC experts challenge us to prepare for water-related challenges resulting from climate change and ensuring waterways have enough water to support vibrant aquatic ecosystems by getting involved in the EPA Watershed Academy.

Safeguarding all elements of public health and my admiration for aquatic creatures are the foundations for my devotion to cleaning and conserving our water. I hope I have encouraged you to avoid contaminated water for your personal health and control your water usage for enhanced water quality to benefit marine life and you. You are a Vol, rise to this call!

For more information and precautionary water quality guidelines:

http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/issues/waterquality.cfm

http://www.sustainabletable.org/267/water-quality

http://www.nrdc.org/water/

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Rescue the Reefs

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     Have any of you readers ever been scuba diving in the big blue? If not, I highly recommend it.  I went a few years ago in Cozumel, Mexico and it was a life-changing experience.  However, I propose you mark this expedition off your bucket list sooner than later.  While scuba diving I was able to see a lot of vividly colored fish along with beautiful coral reefs.  Though I didn’t get close enough to touch a reef, I could see how big of a role they played in the underwater environment.  Fish were constantly swarming in and out of the reefs just like we hustle and bustle in and out of our houses.  In fact, coral reefs are exactly that; a home to all fish.  My point of this post however is to tell you all about the damage we are doing to these coral reefs. The reason I told you earlier to go about this scuba diving expedition soon is because according to the National Wildlife Federation, 16 percent of coral reefs around the world have been wiped out.  As the years go by, even more coral reefs are going to be wiped out if we continue going along the same damaging path.

Coral reefs provide not only a home for fish, but also protection from other predators.  If we continually overfish or employ destructive fishing practices, the coral reefs are going to decrease which will then lead to a fish population decrease.  Fish would no longer be able to find shelter or protection and then would either be swept up by large nets or eaten by predators higher on the food chain.  Are you starting to understand why the preservation of coral reefs is so critical?

Now, I’m going to explain to you a couple of ways we can help fix and even reverse this damage we have been doing to the reefs.  The National Wildlife Federation has launched a public awareness act in order to save the reefs.  One call to action they mention is to never anchor on a reef.  Often times when boating in the ocean, people will drop the anchor whenever and wherever they feel like it.  However, one needs to be aware of what is underneath them before they drop the anchor.  If an anchor lands on a coral reef, it not only damages the reef and the fish living inside, but also can get hooked on it and pulled away from the roots.  This suddenly leaves hundreds of fish without a home.  Another solution the National Wildlife Federation proposes is that you should volunteer with organizations that help clean waterways, whether it is lakes, rivers, and bays.  All waterways ultimately affect the ocean so if we help keep all bodies of water clean, then we will keep pollution that could potentially be harmful to the reefs.

As you can see, coral reefs are experiencing a major decline, and with this decline we also see a potential decrease in the fish population as well.  We all need to come together and work to keep our coral reefs.  After all, wouldn’t it be a disappointment to go scuba diving only to find an empty, colorless ocean?

 

For more information visit:

http://www.nwf.org

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Ijams A State of Mind

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Hello all. I am so glad that you are taking time out of your day to read this blog post. It will be worth your time!

 

So many times it is so easy to get caught up in life, and hard to take a step back and realize you need time to yourself. You need time to take in the natural beauty that surrounds us. You need time to relax, away from the distractions that are constantly pulling you in every direction. This time is vital, and Ijams Nature Center offers your perfect getaway from the stressful day you are having, or just a place to go relax and spend time admiring nature.

Ijams Nature Center is just a short drive from campus. All you have to do is just drive across the bridge and you are almost there. Ijams Nature Center is one of the very unique attractions in Knoxville, Tennessee. It offers a new take on a nature and your typical nature center. They also offer a wide range of activities including nature trails for biking, walking, running, places to hike, and canoe and shop. Ijams also offers many programs for any age, special events, and shows that are put on very frequently. How awesome does that sound?? Ijams volunteers describe this experience as “Ijams is a state of mind: a place where you learn to care for the earth for your whole life” (

http://ijams.org/). This is an important message that Ijams wants to portray to its visitors. Our environment is at risk because of the human activity that is causing detrimental effects. Ijams offers a place to see what our world has potential to become.

Recently, I visited Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville. It was an absolutely breathtaking place to spend an afternoon. On that particular day, they were having people read their very own environmental poetry. It was a beautiful fall day, and everyone was able to take in the scenery while listening about the environment and nature. We all got to sit down and really had time to relax and take in these calming words. After listening to the poetry, we took a stroll around Ijams. The nature trails were absolutely charming.  I also went inside and looked at the displays and history of the center. Ijams Nature Center offers a wide range of activities to do, all which have the wilderness of Knoxville as its main message.

 

One reviewer of Ijams said, “I live close to Ijams and go there often. There are so many trails that you could easily spend several hours walking/jogging them all. The section along the river is beautiful. Trails are well kept and an easy walk/hike. Very friendly staff and you should stop in and see the small exhibit they have on the premise right as you come in. Quiet and peaceful and beautiful!” (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55138-d146693-Reviews-Ijams_Nature_Center-Knoxville_Tennessee.html).

 

I would highly suggest that you take some time out of your day and take a peek into a potentially fantastic getaway that is so close to home.

Visit http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55138-d146693-Reviews-Ijams_Nature_Center-Knoxville_Tennessee.html for reviews of Ijams or  

http://ijams.org/  to learn more about what Ijams is about.

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