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Earth Day: Mother Earth, the water planet
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Mother Earth is a water planet. Being ‘green’ should include consciousness about our oceans, rivers, estuaries. It is the ocean that regulates everything on our planet, including the air we breathe. Can’t relate to the global picture? Let’s start with our own backyard…our marshes, rivers, creeks. Trash inland ends up in our rivers – flowing out to our islands and sounds. We need to keep our water clean – void of all pollutants. Wastewater treatment plants, no matter how state-of-the art, cannot eliminate pharmaceuticals prior to dumping their effluents. Government and private entities in this state care little about protecting our coastal environment when there is profit to be made or egos to bolster. Protecting our waters and marine life is critical to our own survival. We share this habitat. It affords us with food, recreation and livelihoods.
The dolphin is the sentinel species of this marine environment. If there is something wrong with the dolphin, there is something wrong with their home – a home we share. Greedy industrialists dumping toxins into the Brunswick area waters have polluted to the extent that there are now warnings against eating shrimp and fish in that area. A dolphin there was tested in the fall of 2009 and found to have the highest PCB levels of any dolphin IN THE WORLD! These toxins have been found as far north as Sapelo, also affecting Jekyll, Sea Island, St. Simons and the surrounding waters. This is really scary folks!
WE need to be better stewards of our environment. WE cannot depend on the Atlanta government to protect our coastal treasures. Historically we’ve seen that Historically we’ve seen that Atlanta has its own agenda and it does not include what is best for this coast. WE must protect our waters and coastline from exploitation. The Georgia coast is a treasure like no other in the world. Our beautiful marshes are the birthing ground for the North Atlantic Ocean. This is a critically vital habitat that MUST be protected. We can look around to see what our neighbors have damaged or destroyed: Chesapeake Bay, Charleston, Indian River Lagoon. They are now spending BILLIONS trying to reclaim their losses – with little success. When we destroy nature, we cannot recreate it.
Can you imagine the natural beauty of the Georgia coastline looking like Hilton Head or Palm Beach? WE can make a difference.
(Start small…baby steps) WE can use fabric bags at the store in lieu of plastic which pollutes the environment and kills wildlife. WE can be more conscious about the disposal of our refuse…recycle. Pick up roadside or waterside trash.
(Steppin’ out…Pull your boots on and kick some!) WE can continually contact our legislators, register our concerns and DEMAND that they PROTECT this coast.
(Join!) WE can support organizations that protect our environment. As WE band together, WE have a voice that will be heard. WE can get involved. WE can care…for our children and generations to come. Apathy is our worst enemy.
C’mon folks - WE can make a difference…NOW. Earth Day isn’t just one day – it’s EVERY day!

Bryan County resident Hubbard is president of The Dolphin Project, an all volunteer, non-profit, research and education organization dedicated to the protection of wild dolphins for more 20 years.
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