Today, June 5th is World Environment Day, and now, more than ever before, we all need to be mindful of how our daily habits impact on the health of our planet. “Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores people to get outdoors and reconnect with the natural world, to recognise its beauty and perhaps most importantly, to understand that we all need a healthy environment within which to thrive and survive. Increasingly, there is an urgent call to save the planet from the onslaught of pollution, global warming and a widespread, multi faceted environmental degradation. This year’s World Environment Day theme invites you to think about how intimately we depend on the environment. We urge you to get out into nature, because when we love and appreciate our environment, we are all the more likely to take laudable steps to help conserve it!
Due to the nature of our business, our primary focus is showcasing the intricate web of our marine environment. We understand that everything is connected, and that the ‘Blue Heart” of our planet needs protection, which is why we share and promote the diverse wonders of our marine environment on a daily basis. By continually highlighting its web of life and the paramount importance of its conservation, we hope to make a positive impact and ultimately ignite public support for its long term survival.
We strongly endorse this message from Dr Sylvia Earle, celebrated marine scientist, explorer and founder of Mission Blue (and environmental organisation which inspires action to explore and protect the ocean): “Green issues at last are attracting serious attention, owing to critically important links between the environment and the economy, health, and our security. But few people seem aware of the vital role the ocean has in maintaining a planet that works in our favour. No ocean, no life. No blue, no green.” It really is that simple. Without a healthy ocean – our planet will not survive.
In December 2014, Knysna was listed by Mission Blue as a Hope Spot, which are places around the planet deemed as vital to the overall health of the ocean. It was the first listed estuarine Hope Spot in the world, and includes both the Knysna Estuary and the Goukamma Lagoon. Estuaries are where fresh water and ocean water unite, making them among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. They serve as important nurseries of the sea and are of great ecological and economical importance. Estuaries are rich in nutrients, are generally warmer than the ocean, and are usually free of large predators, making them ideal, safe environments in which the larvae and juveniles of many marine species can develop.
The Knysna Estuary is one of the most important estuaries in the world and the reasons to protect this vast liquid landscape and the ocean it meets are endless. Start today to protect and conserve Knysna’s environment, which is critical to our Earth’s Blue Heart.
Images by Lisa Leslie