“Humans are the only creatures with the ability to dive deep in the sea, fly high in the sky, send instant messages around the globe, reflect on the past, assess the present and imagine the future.” – Sylvia Earle, marine biologist
My name is Anamaria Flores, I grew up in a coastal city where my childhood consisted of countless hours on the beach playing on the shoreline and gorging myself on mangos and coconut meat that the volunteer community garden would gift me. That community garden no longer stands, it was torn down and now it is in the slow process of becoming a parking lot; and that beautiful shoreline I knew so well is slowly eroding away. It has been contaminated by algae blooms induced by runoff from sugarcane farms located in inland Florida. My city is not in some distant continent, I grew up in the island city of Miami Beach, Florida which I love dearly. Besides local environmental devastation, the global greenhouse effect, which is caused by high Carbon Dioxide emissions, is also threatening Miami Beach. The hard truth is that my city may be underwater in my lifetime due to rising sea levels heavily affected by pollution.
My hometown is not the only thing that will be affected by our destructive habits. Pollution has already devasted ecosystems and along with it the wildlife and human populations which rely on them. We need to come together now more than ever to protect those most vulnerable to environmental destruction. Each and every one of us is capable of protecting our oncoming future. I have recently joined Team Green as the sustainability intern to work towards a better future in which entire cities do not have to be lost from needless pollution.
Written by Anamaria Flores, class of 2021