Tag Archives: Australia

Volunteering for Coral Reefs

P1000689(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

There are some mixed and unconfirmed reports this morning about a possible oil spill in the Great Barrier Reef. Hopefully, it won’t turn out to be a major spill that’s devastating to the Reef. Coral reefs are just one of the many types of fragile ecosystems that need so much protection and preservation, especially in our overdeveloped and continuously developing, and changing, world. So, this morning, a few stories about how some people are volunteering to help out reefs in their area. In Australia, a group called UniDive has won the 2015 Healthy Waterways award for their work as citizen scientists. In over 500 dives, the divers collected large amounts of invaluable data on the local reefs and their diverse ecosystems. In the Caymans, a filmmaker has volunteered his time to make a documentary film about a threatened local reef. The film may go a long way toward educating people about a reef in the area where a cruise ship berthing facility is proposed.¬† And in Florida, wounded and disabled veterans are helping to restore coral along the coast. The veterans are working with the organization Diveheart and Nova Southeastern University to rehabilitate and restore coral heavily damaged by many factors, including pollution and boats.

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Cleaning Up Plastic Along Australia’s Coastline

ID-10054449(Photo by Troy Faulder, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

It’s become an unfortunate truth of our time that our oceans are filled with plastic. There are now-famous islands of garbage which have appeared, floating in the middle of the vast ocean expanse. On shores and coastlines, plastic is washing up everywhere. At pretty much any spot, along any beach or rocky coast, you can see bits and pieces of plastic floating on or deposited by the waves. This story out of Australia looks at the serious problem of plastic washing ashore and the volunteers who are making a major effort to clean it up. Every Sunday morning, these groups of volunteers are filling numerous bags of rubbish, including lots of plastic, from spots along the coast.¬† These groups of concerned citizens are giving their time, energy and effort to clean up their beaches and waterways, making at least a small dent in what is a worsening global problem.

Saving Seabirds from Oil Spills

ID-10079108(Photo by Vlado, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

The problem of oil spills and their devastating impact is not new. And it’s not going away any time soon. Unfortunately, it seems likely to get worse, as new pipelines are built on land and offshore drilling sites are created at sea. This article from Australia describes one innovative and creative way that volunteers are helping to save seabirds who are caught in the mess of an oil spill. They have modified a shipping container and turned into a facility where volunteers can be trained how to save oiled birds. This great idea seems like something that could be replicated pretty much anywhere, giving volunteers in any location similar opportunities to learn what to do when helping wildlife after an oil spill. The more people who can lend a hand and help out, after getting the proper training¬† in a unique facility such as this one, the more birds and other animals that can be saved.

For some more information about how Australians are helping sea birds, especially those in danger from oil spills, check out Australian Seabird Rescue

Helping Wildlife in Australia

IMG_1860(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

When it comes to wildlife, it’s their planet and we’re just living on it. No matter where humans live, they are going to come into contact with all types of wildlife. Where I live in Massachusetts, there are constant stories about deer, coyotes and bears, often found roaming the suburbs. There are also numerous stories of deer being hit by cars and either wounded or killed. That sort of dangerous and deadly contact with wildlife happens everywhere and it is often volunteers who help to nurse or rehabilitate the wounded animals. This article from Australia describes the massive number of animals who are killed in accidents with motorists. It also mentions volunteers who help to rescue and rehabilitate the animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, possums and many other species.

More information here bout the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service, which leads much of the effort.