So today is world oceans day. A day that is dedicated to celebrating the oceans, their importance, and how we can protect it. Its sad to think that there are literately garbage islands floating around in the ocean. It is also extremely disturbing to know that plastic is slowly killing a variety of animals in the ocean–there was just an article last week on an whale that died, and it had over eighty plastic bags in it’s stomach. Trash (namely plastic) is even found in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Sea Turtle in the wild

So in honor of world oceans day, I decided I’d do a couple of throwback Friday pictures from my  trip to Hawaii & an whale watching tour that I did out in Boston. I went for an week and a half solo trip to the big island to celebrate passing my proposal exam in grad school back in December of 2009. One of the things that I loved was actually getting to see a sea turtle in the wild. There had also been an manta ray in the area–but I never got up early enough to see it.

Whale watching

When I took my first post-doctoral position out in Boston, I had to go out there and find an apartment. After finding the apartment I decided that I’d do a little sightseeing and went to the aquarium and also did a whale watching tour. The tour was great (though I did get a little sea sick the couple of times that I did them–mainly a lot of people, it gets warm, and then it gets bumpy). But I loved being able to see the beautiful whales (even if it was just their tail, or a dorsal fin).

These animals have inhabited the earth longer than humans have, and we’re doing a good job at destroying both them and their home. But we can slow down the destruction of the oceans–

Use cloth bags when going to the store (or ask for paper). Decline the straw at the restaurant.

Do something other than balloons for birthday parties, celebrations, and other events.

Recycle plastics whenever possible. If your area doesn’t recycle certain plastics–figure out a way to reuse them, or an way to ensure that they won’t find their way into the oceans.

Our species creates so much beauty–but at the same time we create so much garbage and destruction.

Let’s remember that we aren’t the only one who inhabit this planet, and that we should try to leave it in better condition for the future generations.