Today is Blog
Action Day, when bloggers worldwide join together to raise awareness about
an important issue. This year's topic is water, and nothing could be more
relevant to islands! Even though islands are surrounded by oceans, they are
plagued by problems resulting from not enough--or too much--water.
Some of those problems include:
- Many impoverished island communities lack access to clean water. Dependent on freshwater streams or rivers, often their only source of water is miles away. On Mexico's Guadalupe Island, Seacology funded a saltwater desalination plant for the villagers, replacing their previous water source, a small spring 15 miles away.
- While some islands suffer from lack of water, others have too much. Low-lying islands like the Maldives, where the highest point is only 7 feet above sea level, are critically endangered by rising sea levels caused by climate change.
- Often, islands have natural infrastructure in the form of mangrove forests that allow them to adapt to fluctuations in water level. Alarmingly, one fifth of the world's mangroves have already been destroyed, leaving coastal habitats and communities vulnerable to flooding. Seacology recently visited our project in Nanumea Atoll, Tuvalu, and helped to replant mangroves there.
- Even in areas that have neither too little nor too much water, pollution and overfishing can severely degrade the quality of the water, leaving it devoid of life. To protect marine areas from further devastation, Seacology works with local villages like Tavolo in Papua New Guinea to create marine protected areas that preserve water quality and nurture ocean life.
- Climate change is causing coral bleaching and acidification of ocean waters around sensitive ecosystems like coral reefs. Highly acidic waters prevent corals, crustaceans, and other sea life from calcifying, a necessary survival mechanism. Seacology is working to protect the coral reefs in places like Bangka Island, Indonesia.
Water covers over 70% of our planet, but too many communities don't have enough, and many others are inundated with too much. Earth's waters are polluted, overfished, and experiencing acidification from climate change. Join Seacology and other organizations on Blog Action Day to address these crucial problems.