Editor’s Notice: the author of the next letter is an 11-year-old resident of Irvine
The world is affected by local weather change, air pollution, and overconsumption. Subsequently, many heroes from all around the world are attempting their finest to enhance the situation of the Earth. A kind of folks is Peter Chang, chief government officer of PMMC, quick for Pacific Marine Mammal Middle. Chang and his staff at PMMC will not be solely rescuing troubled marine mammals however are additionally increasing areas in analysis and training to assist marine wildlife.
PMMC began in 1971, lengthy earlier than the general public started specializing in environmental points. They had been the primary marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California. It began when Jim Stauffer, a lifeguard, rescued a sea lion with lungworms. Since then, they’ve rescued marine mammals alongside the Southern California coast. Chang says, “PMMC’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and launch sick or harm marine mammals.” PMMC not too long ago celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and has saved greater than 10,000 marine mammals.
Chang expanded PMMC’s efforts in training. Amanda Walker, the group teaching programs supervisor at PMMC, says, “We now have summer season camps and after college applications. We’re additionally working with 14 completely different youngsters’s hospitals in the USA to show youngsters extra about marine mammals.” Through the pandemic, PMMC additionally created digital lessons to coach youngsters of all ages. “It was exhausting as a result of we needed to discover ways to replicate PMMC’s dwell expertise and easy methods to make the lessons efficient,” Chang says.
Chang’s efforts to protect marine life don’t cease with training; he focuses on analysis tasks as properly. PMMC at the moment works with a number of universities, reminiscent of UC Davis and College of Florida. “Rescue is reactive, however analysis is proactive,” Chang says. “If we’re in a position to resolve one of many issues, it may possibly have a big impact on so many marine mammals.”
One of many PMMC’s analysis tasks is regarding plastic air pollution resulting from COVID-19. Masks, gloves, and different protecting objects are all over the place within the ocean. Many marine mammals are dying due to plastic waste, and their infants are being left alone. Veterinarian Kaylee Brown says, “The vast majority of rescued marine mammals are pups. Pups are those struggling essentially the most. It’s exhausting to search out meals deep underwater with out the very important talent units.”
You don’t want superpowers to be a hero. It solely requires willingness and persistence. Chang and PMMC are devoted to bettering marine mammals’ welfare via training and analysis. Chang has been expressive about his aspiration: “My imaginative and prescient is to proceed to make the most important impression we will. Our purpose is to guard each marine mammal on the market, and we’re removed from that. Nonetheless, we will make it occur if we work exhausting collectively.”
Audrey Kim, Irvine