In honor of World Oceans Day this Sunday, June 8, we invited the New England Aquarium's ClimaTEENS to share what's happening to the big blue, as well as some actions we can take to help protect the health of the local communities, the ocean, and the planet.
Climate change in the Boston area is an increasing issue given the rising temperatures of both the land and the water combined with the recent storm surges that have produced flooding and many other issues that we have seen arise in the last few years. As a group of young people, we hope to educate and influence others to take steps to help lower the impact that climate change will have on us.
A large contributing factor to the changing climates is human’s use of fossil fuels which includes heating our homes, producing goods and driving cars. (To learn about other ways climate change is impacting the ocean click here) Bostonians should work to reduce our carbon emissions because it has a direct affect on the water.
(Images: Maris Wicks)
Boston is a city that is built on the water and depends on it for various things such as transportation, tourism, and even for food. Higher emissions means more CO2 in the atmosphere. More CO2 in the atmosphere means more CO2 in the ocean. More CO2 in the ocean means a more acidic ocean that inhibits the growth of shelled animals like mussels, oysters, clams, crabs and lobsters. Also, the more CO2 in the atmosphere the more thermal expansion will occur which means that a water molecule will take up more space causing the ocean to rise. Many Bostonians live by the water. Rising waters would threaten not only ocean inhabitants, but also the people of Boston. Click here to see one artist’s rendition of what these rising waters might look like.
One way to lower carbon emissions is for all Bostonians and those traveling in to Boston to utilize more public transportation. The MBTA has made it possible for Bostonians to access the T from where ever they may be. The MBTA system may be a task to ride sometimes but in the end, it lowers our carbon emissions thus helping the environment. Bostonians should also start growing their own food. Urban gardens are popping up everywhere and can be done by anyone. Boston is well known for its strongly united communities (neighborhoods). A community initiative on gardens can make a huge impact. If the impact on the environment isn't enough, the push for communal health should be.
The ClimaTEENS are a gathering of 15-18 year-olds who care about the ocean and who want to contribute to a healthy future. Teens in the program arrived with varied levels of knowledge about climate change, but are united by a desire to learn more about it as an issue of concern and are committed to learning ways to engage public audiences, particularly their peers. With the support of Greenovate Boston, The Ocean Project and the New England Aquarium, these teens are happy to weigh in on the interconnectedness of Boston and the ocean.
To read more about the work ClimaTEENS is doing click here, tweet us @climateens and use #climateens on Instagram.