It’s a Pandemic, Are We Still Trying to Clean the Ocean?


I watched a video of jellyfish moving through the canals of Venice in Italy today and was reminded about how much it takes to seemingly “clean” our waterways.  A pandemic occurs and we can see sea life in one of the busiest tourist spots in the world.  I am lucky enough to be able to sail during these times and noticeably absent from an afternoon sail is the pollution on the surface of the ocean.  No balloons bobbing on the surface and no islands of trash drifting along in the swell. 

Does it take a pandemic to help us do our part?

Did mother nature cash in her chips and exercise a clause in her agreement with the earth’s population?  

Take a look at how the environment is being affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  

Italy

Don’t adjust your screen, that is a jellyfish swimming in the canals.

Air Pollution 

An interesting look at how air quality has dramatically improved during this pandemic. It’s temporary, but will we learn something from it?

Air quality is way better in nine major cities after coronavirus confinement

EarthDay

This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Take a look at some news from around the world on the earth, the pandemic and its effect on the environment.

The Bittersweet EarthDay 

“We’re seeing in some places the best air quality in decades,” Bill Magavern, the policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air, told ABC News. “It is very good for our lung health that air pollution is down during this time of crisis.”

Pandemic Side Effects

“This isn’t the way we would’ve wanted things to happen, God no,” said Gina McCarthy, former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration. “This is just a disaster that pointed out the underlying challenges we face. It’s not something to celebrate.”

European Space Agency Images of Earth

“By combining data for a specific period of time, 10 days in this case, the meteorological variability partly averages out and we begin to see the impact of changes due to human activity.”

Yosemite National Park is Going Wild

The National Park Service share images from the park during its closure. In this Instagram post, a coyote finds a spot in what is normally a very busy parking lot at Yosemite Lodge.

Is This a Silver Lining?
Greenhouse gas emissions are down and air quality has gone up, as governments react to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, has cautioned against viewing this as a boon for the environment.
https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061082

Plastic pollution
Plastic is still a huge problem we as sailors face, take a look at the OceanCleanup Interceptor project. Cleaning the waterways that empty into the ocean is a massive undertaking but it also is vital to making sure that our plastic pollution issues do not get worse.        https://www.ecowatch.com/ocean-cleanup-interceptor-2645510058.html

How Can We Help?

  • Ecology Tips for Sailors

  • Green Boating tips from Sailors For The Sea

  • Support Environmental Organizations

  • After COVID,  Find a Beach Cleanup