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BREEF hosts public snorkel event for World Oceans Day

Bleached coral during last summer's underwater heatwave.

Bleached coral during last summer's underwater heatwave.

By JADE RUSSELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

jrussell@tribunemedia.net

photo

Crystal Darling-Sargent

AS World Ocean Day is coming up on June 8, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) is raising awareness of the dangerous impact of climate change on the ocean.

The Bahamas Department of Meterology issued a nationwide advisory to residents due to a severe heat wave on Friday. The heat index was anticipated to reach between 100º F (38 ºC) and 110 ºF (43 ºC). Residents were advised to stay hydrated, limit outdoor activities, and stay indoors if possible.

Crystal Darling-Sargent, communications officer of BREEF said this year has been the hottest months of February, March, and April on record. Mrs Darling-Sargent noted that the increasing heat temperatures do have an impact on the oceans.

“Last year we had the hottest summer on record which caused many of our coral reefs to bleach across the islands. A lot of them were struggling to recover and some have just started to recover recently. As we head into the summer we are very concerned about the impact that climate change is having on our oceans,” Mrs Darling-Sargent.

According to NASA climate change, the global ocean has a very high heat capacity. It has absorbed 90 percent of the warming that has happened in recent decades due to increasing greenhouse gases. The top few meters of the ocean store as much heat as Earth's entire atmosphere.

Mrs Darling-Sargent said BREEF will be holding a public snorkeling event for World Ocean Day, encouraging people to visit https://breef.org/ for more information. This summer BREEF will also be hosting a summer camp and beach clean-ups.

Asked what people can do to celebrate World Ocean Day, she said people can participate in the snorkeling event, beach cleanup, and wear reef-safe sunscreen when swimming which helps to prevent coral reefs from being damaged.

Last August, the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) reported the record heat that summer was causing widespread coral bleaching, “killing off entire reef systems,”

“Over the past several weeks following sharp spikes in ocean temperature, large-scale bleaching events have been discovered at several sites, signalling a dire emergency with far-reaching consequences for marine life and local communities,” PIMS said in a statement. “Bleaching is not just a cosmetic issue but a lethal and irreversible one.”

Comments

Twocent 1 month ago

Let’s get real…..and raise the “awareness of the dangerous impact” of man’s laziness and man’s greed on the ocean. We take the easy way out in our consumerist world and this has led to plastics, all kinds of plastics, all floating in our oceans. Do an experiment and put a huge amount of plastic particles in one container of water and none in the other. Leave with thermometers and a light overhead. Which one absorbs the heat? We love our gluttonous cruises and the companies are only too happy to build more, and vastly bigger, ships for our hedonistic enjoyment. Do an experiment in a small paddling pool. Measure the level of water and start to add as many heavy floating “boats” as you can. Displacement much?

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