- Ella Taylor
The Lake Merritt Disaster & How Humans Mess Up the Environment
Recently, I was out taking a walk around Lake Merritt, and I was thrilled to see stingrays. I don't often see them in the lake, so it felt like a treat.
But when I shared the video on social media, one of my friends alerted me to the fact that seeing stingrays in Lake Merritt is part of an ecological catastrophe--the likes of which have not been seen before.
As a huge proponent of climate and the environment, I was crushed to hear about such an event, especially in my own backyard.
So, I decided to do something about it.
First, I went back to the lake and documented the situation. An unimaginable number of fish lay lifeless in the lake, suffocated by toxic algae.
Then, I did more research into the cause of the problem. According to Rodriguez & McClurg (2022), the cause of the toxic algae, which is causing a massive fish die-off is the result of climate change and treated sewage being put out by wastewater treatment plants around the Bay Area.
You can read their full article here.
Next, I engaged my team and other resources to discover ways that we can help. Erin--our operations manager--and I have been trying to spread the word about this situation so others are also aware. Also, Nicolette, our philanthropic advisor, is currently researching organizations who are working to combat the problem, and we'll be doing a post with this information as soon as she's done researching.
So stay tuned for ways you can help!
On their Instagram page, the Oakland Museum offered some ideas. You can find their post here. I'm including some ideas they mentioned:
Write to your elected officials and to state and federal agencies
Don't over fertilize your gardens and ditch your lawn
Wash your car only at a car wash as street sewer drains lead to the Bay
According to Plumer at The New York Times (2019), "Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded."
Here is Plumer's full article and the United Nations assessment report.
I'm on a mission to help climate conscious people align their money with their values because I believe in the cause and because I want to make a better world.
If you're interested in the same, please reach out.