Friday, October 31, 2008

Oceans and Human Health

Yesterday I attended a symposium at Monmouth
University sponsored by the Urban Coast Institute
entitled Oceans and Human Health.  It's a yearly event
and one that always gets me thinking. The presenters, 
mostly eminent oceanographers and marine scientists,
talked about things like sediment flow,
toxic chemicals, the great values and uses of chemicals from
the ocean and its creatures.  They focused on physical sciences.

Being a social scientist I began thinking along a different track.
What is the impact of our Oceans and our psychological/emotional
health and well-being?  We all know how being at or in the
ocean makes us feel but what do we know about the impact of
an ocean in trouble?  What is the impact on us of an ocean that
itself is not healthy? Might our psychological and emotional well-
being be linked to the the health of the ocean?  I know how upset
I get when I see trash in the water, brown or red algae blooms,
dead fish floating, or sewage.  I know how bummed I get when, after
a rain, the beach is strewn with plastic.  I know I feel different
looking at clear, clean blue green water than I do looking at
water that looks brown.  How about you?

Guess I'll have to look for a research grant.

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