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Divers who enjoy the coral reefs and shipwrecks in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are encouraged to participate as NOAA conducts its first comprehensive review of the sanctuary’s management plan, boundary, regulations, and marine zones. In the Florida Keys, the marine ecosystem drives the economy and the local way of life, bringing visitors to enjoy world-class diving and fishing, year-round warm temperatures, fresh seafood, and a truly unique culture. Approximately 60 percent of the jobs in the Florida Keys are connected the water and the resources within.
Calls to save the planet and all living beings ring out across the land; alarms blaring as we watch the ice melt, the loss in biodiversity, chemical contaminations, and a planet coughing in protest. Time to look at ourselves and come to terms with the reality that the environment is not out there but within all of us. The concept of environment is challenging to humans, it implies that environment is a tangible thing apart from us and surrounding us, which is further from the truth. Humans are not isolated facets of this environment, instead we are interconnected within this environment engaging from micro cellular to viral and biological; we are the environment.
Sometime not so long ago the ocean carried a fleet of ships built mostly of concrete. Wood was the preferred medium for ship building for centuries until the late 19th century when ship manufacturing converted to the use of sheet steel. While sheet steel was the go to material for many years it became scarce during the first World War. This is when ship builders turned to using steel reinforced concrete, which uses less refined and easier to obtain steel reinforcing bar.
There is a rich maritime history that lies beneath the surface of Ohio’s Lake Erie. The history associated with these shipwrecks reveals the role marine commerce played in the development of Ohio, the Great Lakes region, and our nation. The Great Lakes were once bustling with ships of all types and sizes. Lake Erie in particular was heavily traveled, as it connected the east with the mid-west at a time when railroad lines were short and roads were nonexistent. For cities like Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit, Lake Erie was its lifeblood.
When most people walk out their front door, it’s usually only as far as their driveway. Maybe they’ll walk to the mailbox on the corner, or to a neighbor to borrow a cup of milk. But for the folks in Lauderdale-by- the Sea (LBTS), a short walk takes you underwater—into the vibrant and dynamic world of South Florida’s beautiful coral reefs.
Studying shipwrecks can help us understand the past, connect us to our cultural heritage, and teach us lessons on how the environment and human error can damage each other. NOAA
Our family spent many nights camping, days hiking, and hours wading through half cleared forest trails and waterways as we explored the beautiful wilderness we were surrounded by. We have been fortunate to have lived in a state replete with green conifers and surrounded by water. In many cases our explorations were part of my son’s scouting adventures where he learned to work with others cooperatively, build fires, hide food from bears, avoid getting lost, using a compass, learning what berries and other natural edible plants grow in forests, and so much more; but what he learned most is to be a steward of the environment.
The history of life on this blue planet has been one of the interaction between the living and their environs. For the most part, the environment shaped the physical formation of the plants and animals and how they interact; humans have also, in part, help shape this interaction. Considering the time this planet has taken to evolve, billions of years, and the incredible events that have taken place with everything from asteroids to volcanic eruptions to an ice age and now melting poles, she will continue to exist well into the future. Considering the time the planet has been “our earth” the environment , in terms of years, has little effect on those plants and species it helps mold. One species; however, has impacted our blue planet with far greater influence than the environment, to alter the course of the life it is surrounded by, human species.
Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, borders the civilized world and the natural world. The town, named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, former captain of H.M.S. Victory, is the last bastion of civilization where urban wilderness meets nature of the first kind on the North Island. With a thriving population between 4,200 and 4,500 residents, this turn-of-century townsite is the largest community in the region boasting a bustling terminal for B.C. Ferries’ service to several remote communities along the breathtaking Inside Passage and Discovery Coast Passage sailing routes to Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). Visitors can also travel up the scenic Sunshine Coast to Powell River and travel by ferry to Comox, just a 3.5 hour drive from Port Hardy. Port Hardy is the closest commercial Airport providing flights to Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, and many coastal communities.