Walk For The Reef – Aussie Grandma Making Big Steps

Credit: Chanel Hason

Credit: Chanel Hason

Stemming from Queensland Australia, June Norman is not your average 72-year-old (great) grandma. On June 1st 2013, the passionate grandmother began a 1186 km (736.9 miles) journey on foot from Cairns to Gladstone to protect the largest living organism on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef. Please watch her story below:

One of the major threats to the Great Barrier Reef is the coal industry. Coal mined in Australia, most of which is burned in Asia, is fueling climate change which is a large detriment to the reefs. The coal export industry in AUS is one of the largest in the world. There is an expected 9 new coal terminals to be built in the World Heritage area that is the Great Barrier Reef, and one cannot ignore the fact that this causes a huge environmental concern. It warms my heart and soul that June is doing something and fighting for a better future for her grandchildren and the overall environmental protection of her country. If I was still living in Queensland, you can bet your bottom dollar I would be there right beside June on this awareness walk.

“It’s an awareness raising walk to highlight to highlight the coal expansion and to show the damage that it will cause to our Reef if it goes ahead.”

You can leave support for June on the Greenpeace Australia Pacific Facebook Page here. Or feel free to check out the official ReefWalk 2013 Facebook as well. To stay updated throughout the Reef Walk 2013 campaign, follow their blog! It only takes one person to help change the world – remember that next time you want to stand up for something you believe in.

Spreading some “Ocean Love” for World Oceans Day on June 8th!

World Oceans Day lands on Friday June 8th this year- a little less than a month away!

I feel like I haven’t shown much “ocean love” in a while…so today that’s going to change!

Here are some photos of different oceans/beaches that I am so lucky to have seen and explored :D

Have you been to any of these places before??

Great Barrier Reef- Cairns, Australia

Mazatlan, Mexico

Byron Bay, Australia

Heron Island, Australia

Carmel Beach, California

Monterey Bay, California

Point Lobos, California

Napili Kai, Maui, Hawaii

Moorea, Tahiti

Bahia de Los Angeles, Gulf of Mexico

Santa Cruz, California

San Francisco, California

Elephant Seal Beach, Big Sur, California

Moss Landing, California

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Newport Beach, California

Pacific Grove, California

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Sunscreen Lotion OUT = Sunblock Pill IN (Thanks to Coral Reefs!)

Corals are fascinating organisms. When I traveled to Australia and went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef- this was one of my favorite pictures of the corals and fish that I captured. It was sooo gorgeous there and full of life.

Great Barrier Reef Corals: Chanel Hason: 2009

So leading up to my topic of today: Corals and a sunblock pill!

I can definitely concur that sunscreen lotion is a pain in the butt to put on every couple of hours, when all you want to do is relax, and smell nice, not like a sunscreen ad. Plus you feel all greasy and gross, then when you jump into the water- it all washes off and you have to start the whole process over again!

Well research scientists may have found the jackpot to get rid of those lotions and replace it with a PILL- yes I said it, a little old pill. Corals produce a natural compound that protects their bodies from harmful UV rays from the sun (if only we could do that..). The scientists could manufacture this product for public use within 5 years! That would be pretty amazing to see happen for sure. I’d just hope that no corals have to die because of it…then I wouldn’t be happy.

Coral UV Protection Background: Corals have a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic (needs sunshine to live) algae that lives within their skeleton. This algae produces a UV protection chemical that gets transported throughout the coral. Researchers have found that this protection passes on to the fish that feed upon the coral – so it’s transferred biologically throughout the food chain. Scientists figured out from this information that we could biosynthetically develop the chemical in the lab to make a pill for humans to consume from the sun’s harsh UV rays ( YEAH NO KILLING LOTS OF INNOCENT CORALS :D)

Check out the video from King’s College of London whose researchers are the ones who discovered this:

Well I guess this isn’t the first time that there was ever such an idea of a sunscreen pill.. there are a couple you can actually buy in grocery stores. But they are poorly researched, and not very effective. So don’t use those because you still have to put sunscreen on anyways…what’s the point in taking the pill right?

So maybe in 5 years or so..we’ll be giving our family, friends, and children a little pill to protect our bodies from the inside out from that harsh sunshine. PROTECT YOUR SKIN PEOPLE! And give a BIG thank you to the coral reefs, instead of continuing to destroy them.

Corals are COOL!: Chanel Hason: 2009