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.
Don’t adjust your screen, that is a jellyfish swimming in the canals.
An interesting look at how air quality has dramatically improved during this pandemic. It’s temporary, but will we learn something from it?
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
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.
View this post on Instagram
A coyote relaxes in the empty parking lot of the Yosemite Valley Lodge. Does it know most coyotes don’t have a view this good? Since the closure, it has been interesting to see more animals using roads and walkways and visiting developed areas of the park. If you live in an urban area, have you seen or heard more wildlife in your neighborhood? #Yosemite #NarionalPark
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.
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