For my friend's birthday, we went shark cage diving with North Shore Shark Adventures. It was an amazing experience being able to observe these majestic creatures up close.
Get your stickers now for $3 or 2 for $5! Perfect for hydroflasks, car bumpers, binders, laptops, surboards, boadyboards, McDonald's trays, and everything else you can think of. If you support clean coastlines, why not show it with a sticker!
The screening for the film "Racing Extinction" showed for the first time on December 2nd on Discovery Channel. This film showed heart breaking and breathtaking footage that exposed the world issue of endangered species, climate change, and mass extinction. Countless endangered animals are being threatened into extinction because of the change in the climate. With all of these tragic problems in our world, we also need to remember that there are solutions.
The preservation for our planet's oceans, rivers, and mountains is an important role we need to play. It is our responsibility to defend and protect the land, ocean, and animals. If we let these beautiful animals become extinct or allow the world to collect with an abundant amount of trash, the future generations to come will never forgive us.
With the over emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans are producing, the world is changing. The ocean absorbs this CO2 because of microscopic plankton. As more CO2 goes into the ocean, it becomes more acidic. As the atmosphere absorbs the CO2 that the ocean doesn't, it causes our planet to become warmer. When the atmosphere gets warmer, so does the ocean. The extreme change in temperature and acidity causes a negative effect on the marine organisms that live in the ocean.
The video below explains the change in coral reefs and why::
For example, the algae that lives in the coral's structure uses photosynthesis to feed it and keep it alive. When coral gets stressed out (from warm water levels or high acidity levels), it kicks out the algae that live in it. If the coral stays without algae long enough, it will die. When coral dies it disorders the whole food chain. Coral is a main food source for 25% of marine life in the ocean. That marine life feeds carnivorous fish and us. When there is an unbalance in the food chain in the ocean, it also affects us by causing a decrease in fish and jobs.
It is important to keep our ecosystem balanced and not let the mass extinction and killing of any type of animal because every living thing on this planet acts as a web. We are connected. If you take out one thing, the whole web starts to fail. The massive extinction in our oceans from overfishing and illegal trade of endangered species are causing vast amounts of deaths in our oceans and will soon cause life to decline everywhere.
The video below shows a little information about the trade of sharks and the result that may come out of it::
The motto of the film is #StartWith1Thing. This hashtag challenges you to change one thing in your everyday life that can help better the world. This includes the way you live, eat, and drive. Little things that we can change includes not eating meat for one meal of the day, drinking tap water instead of bottled water, or not using your car for a day. If we come together as one with small actions, we could make a huge impact on the Earth. This impact may save our planet from losing it's precious animals.
To learn more about how you can help, go to racingextinction.com
As we go into the New Year, I'd like to thank everyone that has supported me through this journey. I hope you all have an amazing New Year!
Mahalo, Ciara Ratum
Aloha, please check out our stickers and hats store - stickers for the Keep Hawaii Clean project are in, please support the cause..! $5 and portions of the proceeds go to our fundraising efforts for the Keep Hawaii Clean Project.
Please follow Ciara's blog as she works hard to raise funds and awareness for this great project (and for the protection of our precious coastlines)!
We will be launching our hat sales next week! Mahalo for your continued support!
Living on the Windward side caused me to spend most of my time in town and on the south and east shores of Oahu. I'm often called a "townie". Traveling to the other side of the island is always a treat for me since I hardly go there.
On October 11, Greg Champion and his friends took me out west. We planned to find some dolphins. A fisherman that slept over at the beach said that he saw the dolphins at 6 in the morning. Since we were all there, we hopped in the water anyways, hoping they would come back our way.
We spent about 20 minutes diving and blowing rings in the crystal clear water while waiting for the dolphins. The clarity of the water was unreal. It was an amazing sight to see the green mountains and the deep blue water. Despite the fact that there were hardly any fish, there was a stingray patrolling the ocean floor. We dove down to it, keeping our distance as it hovered above the sand. After we swam with it, we decided to go back to shore. In need of more adventure, we drove down the road to Makaha Beach.
From the surfers shredding glass to the mellow movements of the fish under the water, Makaha always has a sensational atmosphere (above and below the surface of the water). Swimming out about 2 minutes I come across a spotted eagle ray. It was my first time seeing one in the wild and up close. It felt amazing to be swimming side by side as it glided through the water. I was so distracted by it's gracefulness that I almost forgot to press the record button on my GoPro.
When I caught up with the group, we started to swim together towards the tour boats. The deeper it got, the clearer the water became. Schools of fish surrounded us and coral reefs started to cover the ocean floor. I was happy to see the abundant amount of fish because that meant the reef was healthy.
These coral reefs didn't only provide food for the fish, but also for the sea turtles also known as "honus". A bunch of honus would cruise around one huge piece of coral. That gave us the perfect opportunity to get some awesome pictures.
I hope I will be able to spend more time on the west side of Oahu. It was a very amazing adventure that made me appreciate and respect our island even more.
September 19, 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of International Coastal Cleanup Day. People all over the world devote their day to picking up trash on their local coastlines.
I did my part that day by participating in Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s beach cleanup. Dozens of volunteers helped pick up trash and debris on the west shores of Oahu. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii hosted a two day clean up. September 19th was the first day of the cleanup. On that Saturday, 4 thousand pounds of trash was collected. I helped clean up the coasts of Makaha, Makua, and Yokohama beach on the following day.
After the cleanup, I went with my parents to Makaha Beach. Since I didn't have my surfboard, I decided to snorkel. There was an overcast that day, so the water wasn't as clear. But it was still beautiful. During my dive, I found a plastic zip lock bag and a plastic pipe. Right away, I picked it up so that I was able to dispose of it outside of the water.
It was an eyesore to see so many cigarette butts, diapers, tires, beer bottles, and plastic bags scattered all over these beautiful beaches. Also to see trash in the ocean where our marine life can easily get hurt by or ingest these items. Hopefully I will be able to participate on more cleanups on shore and in the water.
I wish International Coastal Cleanup Day was everyday! It was very refreshing to see people of all ages lending a hand to keep our beaches clean, healthy, and beautiful.
Gofundme Account Profile: gofund.me/t83vq554
Aloha, my name is Ciara and I’m a 15-year-old student from Oahu, Hawaii. I need your help – Hawaii needs your help!
Being born and raised in Hawaii allowed me to develop a strong respect and connection for nature and the outdoors. I especially grew a love and passion for the ocean. I believe that the ocean is one of the most amazing things that this Earth has to offer us. It is also the most magnificent thing in my eyes. I hope others can see the ocean for all of its beauty as well. But we must remember that we must preserve it for the future generations of Hawaii.
I have been selected as a Youth Contributor for a Hawaii based organization called Decentsea (www.decentsea.com) who mentors young adults as they work hard to develop special seasonal projects focused on driving awareness for Hawaii's ocean and coastal sustainability. I want to be a part of the next generation of young ambassadors who work to protect our precious Hawaiian coastlands!
We want our beaches clean, our waters clear, and our honu and monk seals happy! It's at the core of my character and who I am..!
Just as Aloha is at the core of our culture – when it comes to nature and the ocean, there is a deeper meaning of give and take. Just as nature and the ocean give itself to us; we must give back to nature and the ocean.
I will be working to raise awareness and donations for two key non-profit organizations this summer, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org) and the Kaiwi Coastline Organization (www.hawaiikaihui.org).
Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is a grassroots, local nonprofit organization run by a small team of dedicated staff and supported by passionate volunteers. They inspire local communities to care for their coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups. They also coordinate educational programs, public awareness campaigns, and help others run their own beach cleanups (which I also hope to do)!
The Kaiwi Coastline Organization has worked with local groups to help preserve the Ka Iwi shoreline since the 1970s. Sandy’s Beach is my home and my heart; it’s a part of who I am and I will do everything I can to help protect this precious coastline. Funds raised through my efforts will support conservation and cultural planning for the site, which is home to Native Hawaiian species and cultural sites.
Decentsea has provided me with a new GoPro Camera and an initial donation of $250 to help me get started. The GoPro gives me the ability to film and document my journey. I will also have the responsibility of running a blog on the website so you can also follow my journey and learnings (http://www.decentsea.com/saltyciara/).
My plan is simple – create a compelling environmental effort campaign through the sales of bumper stickers and hats to raise money and awareness for my select non-profits! The $250 Decentsea donation will help to fund a portion of the printing cost of my stickers and hats, but $250 is not enough..!
I am asking for your collective help – a donation of any kind is never too small. A donation of $20 and you will receive one of my stickers. A donation of $50 you will receive a sticker and hat! A donation of $100 or more and you will receive a sticker and a free 12 x 16 canvas print from decentsea.com’s wave photography collection!
Like Decentsea’s mission statement – I come to you with no shame, no holding back, and total pride! Mahalo for reading this and many mahalos for your support as I begin my journey!
Stay tuned for our newest contributor as we follow Ciara's summer and her passion for the ocean...
Ciara will be working with the Decentsea team this summer on developing her own project to focus on the protection of Hawaii's delicate and unique coastlines. She will be working hard with a non-profit of her choice, and helping to raise funds and awareness for this special organization.
She is taking on a unique project, and we'll soon be sharing the details via her blog. Please be sure to follow her journey as she takes the next step in her life to become a driving force for Hawaii's important environmental and coastal sustainability efforts!
Welcome to the team Ciara!