Commentary: Taking a deep dive into climate change

Why underwater exploring was an eye-opening experience

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Commentary: Taking a deep dive into climate change

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Maya Snow

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  If you have ever been under water, sitting on the ocean floor, you know what I mean when I say you’re in a whole new universe. When I’m just swimming along and about a thousand fish swim past me, it’s crazy.  

 The day after I turned 12, my dad got me Scuba certified, and I’ve been diving ever since. After my first dive, I knew that I wanted to dive as much as I could for the rest of my life. 

 All I can think is how I am in a fish’s world now. And how anything I do above water is affecting their world too. 

  Since I’ve started diving, I try to use less plastic and treat the environment better. It’s sad when you see coral that has started to turn white because of the water temperatures rising, another issue that humans have created.

  The ocean has been a balanced ecosystem for millions of years, but with over-fishing, rising sea temperatures, and plastic in the oceans, we have been destroying their perfect world. If we keep dumping plastic in the ocean, by 2050 all the plastic in the ocean will weigh more than all the fish in the ocean.

   3 years ago, I want to a camp in the British Virgin Islands for 3 weeks. We were on a dive, and I noticed that some of the sea urchins were turning white. When we got back up to the boat, I asked the divemaster why all of the urchins were turning white and dying. The told me that the urchins turn white when the water becomes too warm for them to survive. 

   I started to look for the white urchins everywhere I traveled. They were white in Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii, and a bunch of other places. Urchins are such a cool animal and its sad that they are dying because of global warming. I also know from chemistry class that coral is being bleached for the same reason as the urchin, warmer water. But they are turning white because they grow a protective shell around themselves. This affects everything in the ocean because animals love to hang out in and around the coral. But, if it is dead, no animals go there and the ecosystem starts to fall apart.

   I knew that everyone says that we need to stop using so much plastic, but I didn’t really get it. Everyone uses it and I couldn’t see any change in the world I was living in.

   But, when I went under the water and I could see fishing lines, sunglasses, plastic water bottles, and empty sunscreen containers, I finally understood what was happening, the experience was eye-opening.

   Everyday since then I have actually thought about the stuff I was throwing away. I’m really glad that scuba diving helped me see that I needed to change my ways.

   Scuba Diving changed my view on life, and it can change yours too.

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