Don’t make oceans trash receptacles

I am a student at the University of Washington and am currently taking a course on marine biology and conservation. Anybody who says, “this environmental stuff has gone too far” is uneducated and ignorant. What I have seen during this one quarter is at the very least alarming, if not downright scary. The downward spiral of our unhealthy oceans and the marine organisms within it has to be reversed.

I am not a “tree-hugger,” but it is sad that people like that put financial gains, economics and recreational activities above the survival of a species. How would they feel if the manmade runoff would flow through their own backyard? The oceans shouldn’t be trash receptacles. It is unfortunate that it always takes some (financial) disaster for people to open their eyes. Once the orcas are gone, or the salmon, or the abalone, or the thousand of other species, then people say, “Oh, we should have done something.” Unless of course they see an economic hardship coming (salmon anyone?), then they are all for “saving the environment.” They probably also voted for a president that doesn’t think global warming or climate change is a problem.

After taking this course at UW, I truly think environmental issues need to be a required part of our education system. If this generation does not have the foresight to clean up the oceans and the environment in general, then our kids will have to deal with it. It’s not an issue that will just go away if you ignore it.

Henning Thiel


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FILE — In this Sept. 17, 2020 file photo, provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Chelbee Rosenkrance, of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, holds a male sockeye salmon at the Eagle Fish Hatchery in Eagle, Idaho. Wildlife officials said Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, that an emergency trap-and-truck operation of Idaho-bound endangered sockeye salmon, due to high water temperatures in the Snake and Salomon rivers, netted enough fish at the Granite Dam in eastern Washington, last month, to sustain an elaborate hatchery program. (Travis Brown/Idaho Department of Fish and Game via AP, File)
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