One of the conservation issues that I am really passionate about and concerned about is our oceans and marine wildlife. Coral reefs in particular are in desperate need of help. Coral reefs are also known as the rain forests of the ocean, harboring millions of different marine species, some of which are clown fish, reef sharks, and the blue tang.

orals on their own have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with algae. The algae gets a stable good place to be, while the coral gets nutrients from the algae. However, algae like to be in stable water, not too warm not too cold, and because of our warming ocean the coral are leaving the corals because of the dramatic change in the temperature of the ocean.

What happens to the coral? Well they die, they turn white like a ghost and hard like a rock, with small little gaps, almost like suction cups, where the algae used to live. It has gotten so bad for coral, that when searched up on YouTube, it looks like a marine ghost town. No activity, nothing living, just pure white corals and sand, representing of how prosperous the reefs where.

However the problem of the oceans does not stop at only the reefs, it goes beyond that into the ocean itself. Garbage, human waste, and oil have all devastated the oceans killing hundreds of animals in and around the water. I have seen countless videos of sea birds with those plastic case holders around their necks. I have seen a sea turtle with a straw six inches in its nose. I have seen other larger sea birds dead on beaches because of oil spills. I remember as a kid, walking to the beach near my cottage in Cocagne cape, with a garbage bag with my grandmother picking up garbage lying on the beach: diapers, napkins, tissues, plastic bags, water bottles, glass bottles, balloons etc. All of it just lying there on the beach waiting for the tide to come in again and wash it all to sea.

This is the reason why this subject is important to me, because it hits close to home. Human waste has been also a major factor in the Shediac community, more camp grounds are being built, which means that more waste is going to be flushing into the ocean, Parlee beach is starting to shut down more frequently because of the water quality, and because of the new camping grounds more people are going to coming, which means more garbage in the sea. It’s all very important to me because all of this is happening, and it’s all happening in my backyard.

The opinions expressed are those of the participant and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.