EDITOR, The Tribune.
Originally from South Africa, I have lived in Nassau, New Providence for five years. I am passionate about the ocean and consider myself to be a mermaid. Shortly after I arrived in Nassau, I started volunteering for BREEF, participating in their beach clean-ups, snorkel events and coral restoration programme.
I realised the best way I could give back to the community was by educating students and tourists about the importance of our precious coral reefs. After all, coral reefs are our first line of defense against strong waves and hurricanes. Not to mention, coral reefs also provide a sustainable fisheries and tourism industry.
Sadly, each time I go for a dive, I witness firsthand the serious decline of our coral reefs. It has become blatantly obvious there is so much work to be done. Reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate due to human-induced threats like climate change, coastal development and pollution, and future generations may lose the chance to enjoy the beauty of our ocean as we do today.
Corals are especially vulnerable to diseases and death with the continual rise in water temperature. The fate of our reefs depends on us reducing our carbon footprint and moving towards sustainable development.
Everyone can play a role in protecting our coral reefs. It all starts with making environmentally conscious daily decisions, even little efforts like reducing our plastic use, conserving energy in our homes, and choosing sustainable seafood for consumption. We must all do more to protect the coral reefs that protect us.
February 5, 2021.