I just returned from several days of scuba diving in Grand Cayman. I am always amazed at the wonders that live beneath the seas. As you descend into the blue you are confronted with a world unlike our terrestrial home. The variety of fish and coral are spectacular. As you make your way around the reef, you see many things that few get to encounter. It could be the southern sting ray foraging in the sand accompanied by the small jack waiting to pick up some small scraps from the hunt. Or it might be the large spotted eagle ray who glides gracefully over the top of the coral. There is something wonderful to see on every dive.
There is also things that you never want to see but are becoming more routine. There is plastic strewn about the ocean and trash finds its way to the sea very easily. One of the more devastating events happening all around the world is coral bleaching and other coral diseases. Seeing the dead and dying coral is disturbing and it is everywhere. I witnessed this on our recent dive trip.
Is there anything we can do? YES! There are plenty of things that we can do as ocean stewards. While climate change is the biggest culprit and it is challenging to take that one on as individuals, we can look to making our individual carbon footprint smaller. We can use reef safe products that do not harm these sensitive animals. There is also limiting our single use plastic or maybe being a better scuba diver and avoid harming the reef.
I firmly believe that you need to become an ocean steward at any age but particularly I feel that young people hold the key to the sustainability of our oceans. I became an ocean steward when I became a scuba diver. So against this backdrop, I created the Scuba Educational Alliance of Connecticut to help young people become scuba divers and become the new generation of ocean stewards.