June 1, 2010

A fourth-grader wrote asking what she can do about the Gulf oil spill.

My name is Alana and I am a 4th grade student. We are currently reading the story you wrote "Wildfires." I think it is a great story. It helped us understand the positive effects that controlled wildfires can have.Although I greatly enjoyed the story,  unfortunately that is not the main reason I am writing to you today. I just read your posting on the Gulf Oil Spill. My mom and I have been following the updates. It breaks my heart that this has happened. The sea turtles are one of my very favorite animals on the planet, but I love all marine life. I was even looking into becoming a Marine Biologist when I grow up. I love science and enjoy working with animals.  I can’t believe what is going to happen the Gulf’s ecosystem. I know that I am very far away and that I am only 9 years old (almost 10) smile but do you have any suggestions of what I can do to help the situation? It makes me so angry but also sad that this has happened and the only thing that will help me feel a little better is to know that I am doing whatever I can to help save the animals that are still left. Do you think that the sea turtles will survive this disaster? So many have already died. : (  I know you are very busy. Thank you for taking the time to read posting.

Alana G.
"Science Rules" 

Alana, thank you so much for writing and for caring so much about the sea turtles. Like you, I have always considered sea turtles to be one of my favorite animals on our planet. They travel long distances during their lives and return to the same place they were born, where the females lay their eggs for a new generation of turtles. It is so sad that the turtles are being killed by the terrible oil spill in the Gulf. The turtles are only one of the many animals that are being affected and no one seems to know how to put a quick stop to the oil pouring out into the sea. I wish I could tell you what to do to help the situation. More than that I wish I could tell you that someone knows what to do. It seems as if the oil spill will continue for weeks and months and I just hope that the company that caused the spill and the goverrnment can control it by the end of the summer. Perhaps the best thing you and everyone else can do is to try to make sure that it never happens again. There are many conservation groups, such as The Nature Conservancy and The Natural Resources Defense Council that are working to make oil drilling safer in a variety of ways.

The peoples of this country and of other countries all share the same planet. The more people who feel the way you and I do about this terrible situation, the more likely it is that the countries of the world will put rules in place to prevent it from ever happening again.Think environmentally all your life, no matter what you decide to do as an adult. Talk about it to your friends. Read about it in books and on the web. Remain committed to the idea that it’s OUR planet and we need to protect it from being abused. I wish I knew what more to say or to do. I feel as angry and frustrated as you do. In my own way, I will support the conservation groups I think are best and will vote for environmentally-minded representives in our government. And like you, I just hope that we can save sea turtles and what they represent for the future of our planet. 


Photo Credit: The Washington Post



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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