Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Save the mangroves

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaica is such a beautiful country, but garbage seems to be plaguing almost all neighbourhoods. One of the areas where pollution has been taking a huge toll is the Kingston Harbour and some coastal areas of Portmore (St Catherine). These places are habitat to many aquatic organisms.

Mangroves are areas of extreme importance. These are various large, extensive types of trees that inhabit coastal zones. They are found mostly in tropical areas and are significant to the ecosystem. Mangroves provide coastal protection from hurricanes and typhoons and are home to a variety of birds, such as the Brown Pelican, which is on the verge of extinction.

Mangroves also serve as homes and breeding areas to a variety of fish and other sea life such as crabs and shrimps. They can also be used for tourist attractions, as many persons travel to numerous places to view them. These organisms are important, yet they are constantly being affected by pollution.

When heavy rains come, gullies that are filled with garbage empty into various water sources. Because of this, the water has become polluted, harming not only the mangroves but also the organisms dwelling in the water. Constant impurities in the water can lead to the death of many aquatic organisms.

This issue has to be taken into serious consideration, as fishermen and consumers are also becoming affected by this.

Many mangroves have already been uprooted and have died because of water pollution. In order for this to cease, all Jamaicans need to take pollution seriously.

I call on all citizens of Jamaica to see how dreadful pollution really is. In order for this problem to be avoided, we must stop disposing of rubbish in our gullies and throwing harsh chemicals into streams. We, as a people, need to understand how vital our aquatic environment is and how we should preserve it. I also call on Robert Pickersgill, the minister of water, land, environment and climate change, to look into this matter urgently, and implement measures to mitigate the serious damage that is being done.

JAMILA COORE

Fifth-form Student

Meadowbrook High School