[Coral-List] Post for input from coral-list members

Cheryl McGill cmcg11 at cox.net
Wed Nov 26 13:35:07 EST 2008

Isn't it sad that our youth believes marine science to be a "fairly new
science."  The student raises a good question, why isn't the public (ALL
public in all states- not just Florida) more aware of its marine
environment? We have many indicators on the beach (flags, signs, etc.) to
protect us from the marine environment but nothing that reciprocates the
same "protection" to the marine environment. I'm not proposing we should put
up signs to list the many ways we can protect  marine habitats but instead
propose that marine science be a core course in all education systems, not
just coastal states. I know Florida, as well as other coastal states, relies
heavily on the tourism industry. The tourists visiting should be just as
educated as locals as to what type of implications their actions may or may
not have on the environment. 

It is silly to me that marine biology is an elective course in our education
system, and even non-existent in land locked states (at least this was the
case when I was a high school student in Memphis).  Ask a high school
student if they know the correlation between fertilizers and the fishing
industry, they probably do not have a clue. What is sad is that it is not
through lack of studying on their part, it is a lack of education on ours. I
enjoy watching the Discovery Channel (Blue Planet being one of my favorites)
and Animal Planet, but what kid in their spare time is going to watch an
educational show? Marine science needs to be in our school curriculum. 

Scientists have known for years the impacts humans are having on the marine
environment. The problem is, I do not believe that our education system is
evolving with societal knowledge of marine habitats. Maybe now is a good
time use our democratic powers, "change can happen" but it will not happen
on its own.



Cheryl McGill

Ex-teacher, current marine biologist

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