As Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo says, “Fish are friends…” The Marine Biology club meets to discuss new ways to get involved with saving fishy friends. The club participated in a beach cleanup which took place Nov. 10 from 7-11 a.m. at the Ft. Lauderdale beach.
Beach cleanups offer a way to understand the impact of consumer lifestyles. Some may believe that the marine environment does not affect them, but debris pollutes every ocean in the world.
“The turnout of the event was great as a community. However, I would have liked to have more of my club members present,” said Ms. Connie Versteeg, the advisor of the club. “Beach cleanups are important because much of the trash entering the ocean ends up there due to the tides picking up the trash along the shores. The trash in the ocean can cause death or illness for a variety of marine species, and by preventing some of it from entering the ocean, we have helped to save those creatures.”
Marine animals and birds that eat fish from the sea often die from ingesting trash or entangling themselves in it. They often mistake pieces of plastic for food. Once consumed, the plastic remains in the body until enough is consumed to do damage. “Throwing a bottle cap or straw into the ocean or even on the beach often becomes fatal for marine life,” Mrs. Versteeg said.
Junior Isabel Allende de Silva attended the cleanup with her sister sophomore Monserrat Allende de Silva. “The best thing about the event was playing a part in helping clean our ocean,” Isabel said. “My sister and I also held a competition to see who would be able to pick up the most trash.”
Ms. Versteeg hopes that “beach goers will always look around them and be cautious where people throw their trash,” because Nemo and his friends depend on it.