Today’s general agenda: Project Marine Debris —> Coconuts! —> lion fish dissection
Our final project involves a little giving back to Glover’s Reef Research Station. We were looking at marine debris around the research station. Essentially, we turned beach clean-up into a research project! We wanted to examine which area of the island would have the most trash and what material makes up for all the trash we collect.
Dr. Shore, Bella, and I picked up a total of 700+ pieces of trash. We found everything from plastic bottles, toothbrushes, Crocs, etc.. We found mostly plastic and styrofoam debris. our group even found part of a metal fan. Knowing we were at such remote location, I was terribly shocked by how much trash that accumulated on the island. Trash can travel so far that even places that are seemingly untouched can be affected by it.
My biggest takeaway is that the effects of trash on our environment can often feel very distant and removed. I certainly feel that way sometimes. A plastic bottle goes into the recycling bin..then that gets taken somewhere…and then somewhere.. and the poof! no longer on your mind. I encourage you all to try cleaning up the beach at least one time to better understand how trash can impact our environment, and, hopefully, we can work towards more sustainable practices. A shameless plug: bring your own drinkware to Rice Coffeehouse!
In just six short days on Glover’s Reef, I was able to get more than 60 bug bites from mosquitoes and sandflies. On the flip side, we also got to eat some invasive lionfish and drink some coconuts. At the dinner table, we talked about what would be the first thing we were going to do once we got home. Some people said they would pet their cats, dogs, or possums, and I know I will be taking a *hot* shower for sure.
Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Belize