aerial view of man wearing wet suit floating next to his surfboard with a thick layer of sea snot just below the surface

I don’t know about you but as of about two weeks ago, I personally had never heard of sea snot.  It came up in one of my environmental news feeds and the headline certainly caught my eye so I read on.

Here’s the Wikipedia definition:  “Sea snot, sea saliva or marine mucilage is a collection of mucus-like organic matter found in the sea. The creamy, gelatinous substance is generally not harmful, but can attract viruses and bacteria, including E. coli, and it can become a blanket that suffocates the marine life below. It is frequently seen in the Mediterranean Sea and has recently spread to the Sea of Marmara.”

Honestly? Just reading the definition made me gag, so I dug deeper and I am not thrilled about that definition because of the “generally not harmful” comment as “it can become a blanket that suffocates the marine life below.” Of course it’s harmful! According to this article published in Bloomberg on June 21, 2021 officials in Turkey are scrambling to keep it from spreading to the Black Sea and Aegean – top beach areas in that region and the source of a great deal of revenue from the tourist industry. In other words, it really hurts the people who need jobs the most in those industries – the real worker bees. 

Top reasons why I am so upset about it and why I believe it’s another “we’ve only just begun” scenario that will only get worse, kill more marine life and cause the loss of income for people on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale? Here they are:

  1. It’s ALL human caused because we are the cause of global warming. 
  2. Domestic and industrial waste (carmakers, chemical companies, refiners) has poured into the Sea of Marmara for more than half a century. 
  3. Rising temperatures, on top of the pollution, have created the perfect storm for the increase in the sea snot spreading. It only takes a little bit of research to be up to speed on how many records we are breaking when it comes to rising temperatures. People are dying all over the planet from the heat.  And summer has only just begun in many places around the world. 
  4. I care about the sea critters – they are not just collateral damage to me. They are dying from it – slow painful deaths that cause them to suffocate. It makes me feel sad and sick and helpless. 

You might be thinking: “So what, pray tell, am I supposed to do about sea snot from my backyard in the middle of Colorado (or anywhere else for that matter)?”

Here’s my answer: keep working to lower your own personal carbon footprint. DON’T use plastic bottles, don’t use straws, figure out how to drive less, don’t waste water, care about where the products you buy come from and support the heck out of those who are ethically sourced and not harmful to the planet. DO get out in nature, support environmental organizations doing their best to preserve this great planet of ours, invest in reusable bottles, drive less if at all possible and put the pressure on ALL elected officials to use policy as one tool to combat global warming. The clock continues to tick louder and louder. 

Happy Summer.

Gina Murphy-DarlingFrom about the age of five, Gina has been on the path of being a disruptor for good. A dreamer at heart, Gina is madly and passionately in love with this great planet of ours and is tireless in her efforts to preserve it.