Sea Turtles: Why Do We Need to Care?

sea turtles

All animals are part of the ecosystem and sea turtles are no different.  These are important sea creatures playing their respective role in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem.  At the rate these sea turtles are declining in numbers, other marine life will also be in danger.

The role of sea turtles in ocean ecosystem

Sea turtles help in maintaining habitat.  Green sea turtles for instance help in keeping healthy seagrass beds properly mowed because they are herbivores.  It’s important to keep these seagrass bed properly ‘trimmed’ so that the whole nutrient cycle under the ocean is kept in balance.

Without the green sea turtles to graze on seagrass beds, it will overgrow and will result to obstruction to currents and light which will then create a suitable habitat for microorganisms, algae, invertebrates and fungi.  It’s all about chain reaction; these fellas really do play an important role in keeping the balance in check.

sea turtle in Costa Rica

Sea turtles also helps to make sure the coral reefs will flourish.  The hawkbill sea turtle, with its beak-like mouths feed on marine sponges.  Why is it important?  Well, marine sponges can aggressively dominate the reef communities which is not exactly a good idea since it will not only compete with space against corals but its physical and chemical defenses also prevents other fish and marine animals from eating them.

So again, there will be a whole chain reaction where other animals will be left with either no or fewer food.  When hawkbill sea turtles feed on these sponges it allows for other animals as well to feed on it which these animals will normally not be able to do (because they can’t break into its exterior) and more importantly, allows for diversity of reef communities.

Beach dunes or dunes ecosystem also benefits from turtles eggs.  Because sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches, whether these eggs hatched or not, it provides nutrients that in turn affect the vegetation, species distribution and shorelines stability.

Sea turtles are also responsible for keeping the food web in check in the ocean ecosystem.  For instance, the leatherbacks, loggerheads and green sea turtles, feed on jelly fish!  Imagine if these jelly fish dominates the sea more than fish!  These sea turtles also provide food for fish and shrimp, by carrying around barnacles, algae and other similar organisms.  The eggs they lay on beaches will not hatch 100 percent; some will serve as food for other predators like ants, crabs, raccoons, and others.  The same goes with the hatchlings, there are studies that show 97 percent of these hatchlings will be eaten within the first hour upon entering the water.  It may sound a little gruesome, but it’s the rule of nature, they are part of the food chain, and majority of these hatchlings will serve as food for other animals.

What’s happening to the sea turtles?

The sea turtles’ population is greatly affected by fishing- either by direct death or by injury brought about by commercial fishing. The continuous habitat degradation also plays a big role and of course the effect of climate changes.

It’s bad enough that sea turtles needed to face natural phenomenon and the natural sequence of food chain, what’s really disturbing is the incessant poaching and illegal trade of sea turtles – eggs, meat, shells – which pose a great threat to this species.  The carefree attitude of most people – in disposing trash, disturbing the animals without regard – also plays a big role in the continued decline in sea turtle numbers.

These sea turtles need us to care more for them – so that they will thrive – but keep in mind that we need them too, so that nature will be in balance. Creating awareness is one way to save these sea creatures.  Educating as much people as we can will make a big difference.  We can do better.  We can make it happen.

Blue Marbles and Youth Awareness

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The Blue Marbles Project is creating youth awareness about sharing, giving, and gratitude towards one another and our blue planet.  This project involves passing a blue marble from one person to another who has shown concern for our planet.  From the simple act of picking up some random trash, to getting involved in a clean drive for instance, it doesn’t measure how big or small your part is, if you have a blue marble in your hand, it simply shows that you care.

Youth awareness and the blue marble

Getting the youth involve in this project creates such an impact to the way they see our environment; even the way they see each other.  It makes them realized that what they do, really matter and is of value not just for the planet but to each other as well.  It teaches them the value of giving and showing gratitude to other people.

Sometimes the act of giving away the marble may seem hard at first for these kids, but they soon realize the importance of completing this act, and how much it will mean to him, to the other person he’s passing it to and of course to our beautiful blue planet.

The blue marble signifies a physical embodiment of gratitude awarded by an individual for an act of kindness that one can proudly show and proudly pass on to the next deserving person.

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It’s your turn to create youth awareness

Make your move now and start involving your kids in Blue Marbles Project.  Let’s create youth awareness and prepare these kids for a better future on a healthy planet.  Let’s start while they are young.

You’ll be surprised at how children could easily pick up on the positive values you’re teaching them.  These kids simply need our guidance.  They don’t have to grow up all rotten and spoiled, irresponsible and disrespectful towards people and the environment.

Teaching them to respect living things on our planet will create a lasting effect and turn them into these individuals who are compassionate to fellow kids and their elderly as well.  I it really boils down to what they see around them, to what they are unconsciously being subjected to.  Like for instance if it’s so natural for their parents or adults around them to just throw trash anywhere as long as nobody is looking, it’ll create a notion in their minds that littering is okay and that it’s not a big deal.  But try taking the time to explain to a child what a simple act of throwing for example, a simple candy wrapper in the ocean will do, you’ll be amazed at how they will react and how that explanation will impact and change their view about trashing the ocean.

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Channeling women empowerment to create youth awareness

Let’s use women empowerment and take the responsibility to create youth awareness and empower the future generation.  Let’s take it upon us to educate our kids – our young generation, about the importance of caring for our dear planet.  Let’s promote green living and nurture them with an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Let us always remind them and ourselves, as well, that this is the only planet we can call our home.  In fact, it is our only home.

How to Express Ocean Awareness Through Art

sea turtle green mission

More and more artists are now using ocean art to inspire changes and raise awareness about the need to conserve and protect our natural world.  These artists are utilizing their talents to produce artworks – not only those that shows the beauty of the ocean or the gifts of life underneath it but especially artworks that communicate the predicament that our ocean is currently in – the problems about pollution and the incessant abuse of natural ocean resources.

Check out this Interview with Claudio Garzon, an eco-friendly

Artist teaching kids about environmental art.

There’s No Denying

plastics are foreverIt’s not very surprising now a days to take a walk along the beach or river, and you won’t get too far without seeing or encountering plastic trash – from plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic wrappers to fishing nets and other plastic debris.  There’s no denying that we are in a ‘messy’ predicament right now.

There are plastics everywhere.

Plastics are not biodegradable.  If you think ‘diamonds are forever’ guess what, so are plastics!

The very plastic you’re using at home, at work, at school or anywhere for that matter – will eventually find its way to our water system and we now know will eventually end up in the ocean.

These plastic will endanger the lives of marine animals – there are instances where turtles or dolphins get trapped with discarded nets or even plastic furniture.  These animals oftentimes die; very seldom will they get rescued from it.  This plastic trash is clearly a threat for these marine animals.

sea turtle caught in plasticsImage source: beaches.uptake.com

Through the years, these plastics get broken into tiny bits – some small enough for marine animals and even birds to mistaken it for food, and into microscopic size over time…but still…it will not totally biodegrade.

plastic pollution kills birdImage source: coastalcare.org

It maybe no longer visible to the human eyes but it’s still there, it’s still plastic, it doesn’t get absorbed into the natural system.  It continuous to pollute our waters and gets eaten by tiny marine organisms that will of course enter the food chain.  And guess who is on the top of this food chain?  Exactly.

seabed pollutionImage source: coastalcare.org

Unnatural Expectation from the Natural

The ocean has been providing us food, water, livelihood and even recreation.  Its abundance is simply immeasurable.  It’s quite heartbreaking to know that not only do people are taking more than he needs but is also showing no regard at all.

We are making unnatural expectation from the ocean.  The bounty that the ocean used to naturally provide us is no longer coming ‘naturally.’  Simply put, we are ‘forcing it’ out of the ocean.

sea turtle defenders, green mission

Artists on the Move

The likes of Claudio Garzon, along with other artists who are choosing to use their talents to inspire people, to educate them and raise ocean awareness are the ‘ocean defenders’ of our time. Facebook Page Sea Turtle Defenders Keeps the Ocean’s Safe for Sea Turtles through education.

We are defending the ocean, the planet and future generations.

It’s nothing short of admirable to have these artists affect a movement by making use of the fact that arts do affect people’s lives.

They communicate their ocean sentiments through paintings, sculptures, murals, songs and or plays that leave a lasting impression to whoever manages to come across such artwork.

The Mission of the Sea Turtle Defenders: endeavors to identify, categorize, and disseminate current environmental and related social educational information to children, families, educators, and community leaders to raise their awareness and  continuously advocate for sea turtle rights.

Channeling My Passion for Art

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I’m very passionate about art; I have a degree in Fine Arts and even completed a Masters Program around the same time that I starting my own family.  It was quite a challenge, and I can honestly say that it wasn’t easy – but it’s all worth it!

Being able to be there for my kids on their formative years while keeping in touch with my passion for arts is undeniably one of the best decisions I made ever.

I was an art teacher for more than 20 years and also do glass arts – so basically my life revolved around arts.  It’s very much a part of who I am really, I breathe art. I love art!

A burning passion.

I’m a strong believer that keeping your passions in life alive makes you a better person.  It brings out the best in you.  You become this person that can affect other people positively.  You become a source of joy and hope.

Probably you’re thinking that keeping in touch with life’s passion is the last thing we can afford to think of considering that we’re all so caught up with our jobs, making a living and other mundane things that have taken control over our life completely.

But I truly believe that anchoring everything else in your life with your passion will ultimately bring focus and balance.  When you’re passionate about something you make things happen – even things you probably thought you won’t be able to do now feels you can easily accomplish.   Problems or trials or challenges become bearable if not easy.  You see things more clearly.  You make things happen.

For me, channeling my passion for art brings my life in focus and in balance.  It actually paves the way towards freedom for me.  I can honestly say that I’ve regained control of my life living it the way I have always wanted to – spending quality time with my family, traveling to different places, nurturing meaningful relationships, creating a sustainable life and of course creating arts!

When I decided that I’m going to empower myself and break free from whatever it is that is dragging me down to unhappiness – I found my inner strength, the superwoman in me – and started making changes in my life.

These are not easy changes and I even faced harder choices along the way.  I kept going anyway because it was clear to me that arts will always be (and have always been) a part of my life. That I know for sure.  I muster the strength to delve into the business world, a world that is foreign for me, but it didn’t discourage me – I persevered instead!

Now, I’m enjoying my freedom and still channeling my passion for art to continue on making changes to even better my life and to affect other people as well – all while creating a sustainable life for my family!

Ocean Awareness: It’s Our Turn to Take Care of the Ocean

The ocean has been providing us not just food and water but even recreation and livelihood.  Its abundance is simply immeasurable but it’s disheartening to know that not only do people are taking more than he needs but is also showing no regard at all.  Evidently, people lack ocean awareness.

The ocean has been providing us not just food and water but even recreation and livelihood.  Its abundance is simply immeasurable but it’s disheartening to know that not only do people are taking more than he needs but is also showing no regard at all.  Evidently, people lack ocean awareness.

If we’ll only look, we’ll see

Have you seen the photos of surfers encountering massive trash ‘surfing’ with them?

trash in oceanImage courtesy of www.zaknoyle.com

Have you seen the photos of marine animals, sick, disfigured, dying or worst dead, because they got caught up with trash or mistakenly taken it for food?

ocean awarenessImage courtesy of www.greenchipstocks.com

Have you seen the studies or news about fish, (yes, the ones we’re serving to our family) containing alarming levels of mercury?

mercury in foodImage courtesy of www.groundtruthtrekking.org

Haven’t we seen enough?

Show gratitude by creating ocean awareness

Yes, we should have been more thankful to the abundance the ocean has always been providing us.  And yes, we really messed it up so bad that we’re now feeling the effects of our own doing.

But, NOW, will be a good time to start making changes.

What you do will matter.  Don’t underestimate your power.  You can change the world by starting with yourself.

Show your gratitude to the ocean by being more responsible with disposing your trash.  Create ocean awareness – to your family, to your friends, to your community – until our collective forces will be enough to protect our ocean from the ‘big’ offenders.

Let’s create ocean awareness by being proactive, by letting our voices heard – until we’re loud enough that they couldn’t ignore us.

The ocean takes care of us.  Now it’s our turn now to do the same.

Let’s show our gratitude, let’s create ocean awareness.

Green Art from Scrap

Creating art benefits not just your well being but even your physical body as well.  Through writing, music, dancing or visual arts, you can express yourself – your emotions, your visions.

It gives you the freedom and peace from within that radiate into your physical being – hence, art is important in our life.

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Having said that, not everybody is given the opportunity to be provided with the materials they need to express their creativity.  It can be due to financial constraints or inaccessibility.

In San Francisco alone, not all schools have the funding to support art education for the children.  And I cannot stress enough the importance of providing art education to our youths today.

With all the distraction from electronic gadgets that is monopolizing their waking hours, they do need art to let them discover their other potentials outside of their virtual world.

Artists, like myself, need to have a way to express ourselves, to channel out all the creativity that is inherent in us.  Being the creative person that we are, we simply cannot contain that without causing imbalance in our life.

Creating art from scrap

Arts supplies stores may not always be an option to a lot of people because of financial constraints and it’ll be a shame to hinder your creativity development just because you’re lacking the materials.

It’s a good thing though that art is everywhere!

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It does need a little extra creativity to see that there are arts in scrap, yes, in trash.  It’s physically there, waiting to be pick up and collected and waiting to be piece together.

SCRAP: the place to go

To create art from scrap found in your house is cool, to find all sort of scraps in one place is even cooler!

Anne Marie Theilen saw the need for resources to make art education possible for the students and for other artists as well in San Francisco, California.  This gave birth to SCRAP in 1976.

This non-profit creative reuse center, material depot and workshop space made creating art from scrap possible!  Low-cost materials and supplies are now more accessible to artists, teachers, parents and organizations.

SCRAP provided the community not just the resources but the opportunity to learn and pass on the value of creative reuse.

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 Now a days, so many things have become easily replaceable that people oftentimes just throw it away and replace it with something new – from household items to home furniture to office supplies.  Before we even knew it we have successfully participated in further polluting our planet earth.

We can make a change; let’s make it a habit to upcycle – to upcycle is to create art.

It takes imagination and creativity to re-shape or re-fashion an item to fit its new purpose.  Workings from scraps not only give you the opportunity to challenge yourself to give it a new life but you’re also contributing in saving the environment as well.

Green art from scrap!

By finding a new purpose to these scraps means less trash are polluting the earth!  SCRAP is literally saving landfills of additional tons of trash by taking the responsibility to make use of these scrap for the benefit of the community.

Suffice to say that art from scrap is definitely green art!

Check me out at the San Francisco Contemporary Art Market

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Changing the World One Blue Marble at a Time

The Blue Marbles Project is started by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a scientist, an activist, a community organizer, an author and also a father.  This project is creating awareness and reminding people especially the youths about sharing, giving, and gratitude towards one another and our blue planet.

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This project involves passing a blue marble from one person to another who has shown concern for our planet.  It’s a sign of gratitude, an appreciation for that act of kindness to our environment.  It doesn’t question how big or small your part is, if you have a blue marble in your hand, it simply shows that you care.  And as long as people care, there is hope.

If you want to be a part of this cool project simply share a ‘blue’ marble to a person whom you believe is doing something good for the planet, it’s a sign of gratitude.  Then you encourage that person to do the same and pass the blue marble on.  You can then share your story with the world however you like.

Preferably of course, share your photo with your blue marble, that way we somehow connect with each other!  You’ll be amazed to see where these blue marbles have been to and who have touched them so far.

Why blue marbles?

The Blue Marbles the famous photo of the earth taken from the moon by astronauts.  That is how our home looks like when viewed from the outer space – a glowing marble of blue oceans and green forest.  Hold a blue marble at arm’s length in front of you, and it will be like looking into earth from million miles away.

blue marble

We love the ocean, my family love to surf and we just love the beach!  We’re living an eco-friendly lifestyle and support social awareness about green living and protecting our environment.  Whoever or wherever you are, you can do something to lessen carbon footprints in our planet.

Try to walk or bicycling whenever possible as opposed to just jumping into your car whenever you need to be somewhere else.  Mind your trash, no matter small or tiny piece it is.  Be wary of the materials you’re using, opt for biodegradable stuff.  Don’t be afraid to venture on new things, and hide on the premise that it’s something you’re not accustomed with therefore could be a waste of time.

For instance, I took a chance and tried affiliate marketing which is just one of the perfect home business ideas and opportunities for women.  It’s simply awesome and doing really great for me!  I’m now working from home and glad to say that I no longer take part in producing carbon footprints along with other commuters.

Be appreciative of the planet we live in, yes that’s a good start actually.  Once you realize what we have been blessed with and how precious and how vulnerable this planet is, then perhaps you’ll start paying attention and be more caring and responsible.

create your own inspired life