Milu Et HaMayim

Water Torah

 

Everything According to its Design

 וַיִּבְרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־הַתַּנִּינִ֖ם הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים וְאֵ֣ת כָּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַֽחַיָּ֣ה הָֽרֹמֶ֡שֶׂת אֲשֶׁר֩ שָֽׁרְצ֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם לְמִֽינֵהֶ֗ם. וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ אֹתָ֛ם אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֵאמֹ֑ר פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֗וּ וּמִלְא֤וּ אֶת־הַמַּ֨יִם֙ בַּיַּמִּ֔ים  

And God created the great sea creatures and every living soul that swims in the sea according to its type (design). And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas.    

According to Judaism, everything was created with its own unique purpose and character, and was blessed by God. Therefore, Judaism has no concept of extinction.  Everything is necessary in the perfect web of creation.  It was only when humans were thrown into the mix that we messed it up.

Coral reefs are a perfect ecosystem, everything has a role and naturally creates a balanced system. It is the human-made changes in the environment that unbalance the system, and send the ecosystem into chaos. 

 

Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs cover less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, yet contain 25% of marine biodiversity. But they are currently at high risk from human impacts.

What Are Coral Reefs?

Image Source: 4Ocean

What Are Coral Reefs?

Often called the "rainforests of the sea," coral reefs are highly diverse ​ecosystems living in some of the most nutrient-poor waters on earth. They are vibrant, beautiful ecosystems that provide offshore protection from storms, homes to several thousands of organisms, and inspiration for medical progress. Scientists predict that over a million plants and animals are associated with these colonies. Despite their importance, they are slow-growing ecosystems, with most coral colonies growing less than one inch per year. Entire reefs are made out of millions of tiny organisms called polyps. Polyps are sensitive organisms, often living in symbiosis with photosynthesizing algae. Because of this sensitive relationship, coral reefs can only thrive in a limited range of light exposure, temperature, and water quality. 

What Are The Issues?

Image Source: 4Ocean

What Are The Issues?

Climate change is one of the most damaging causes of reef declines. Increased water temperatures cause corals to excrete their algae partners, which results in coral bleaching. Meanwhile, increased carbon in the air results in ocean acidification, which makes it hard for corals to grow their calcium carbonate skeletons. This delicate balance of a perfect ecosystem can also be easily tipped by human practices. Overfishing warps the food chain and offsets the balance. Pollution run off, from fertilizers and other shore sources can damage the sensitive creatures. Additionally, chemicals found in sunscreen and other skincare products have been found to cause four major toxic effects in coral.  Scientists estimate that if we don't change our ways soon, we may lose 70% of coral reefs by 2050. 

Our Service 

Tikkun HaYam partners with other organizations to take a hands-on approach to coral restoration.

 

Coral Monitoring

On alternative break trips, participants partake in Coral Watch, a citizen science research project in the monitoring of coral bleaching events at their dive sites. 

Coral Outplanting

Tikkun HaYam often partners with the Coral Restoration Foundation for dives that allow participants to care for coral nurseries offshore, and outplant juvenile corals on dying reefs.

Consumer Education

Tikkun HaYam does not allow sunscreens using Oxybenzone or other chemicals known to hurt reefs on trips and offers an alternative for those who don't yet know.

What Can You Do?

 

Climate change is the number one factor that is influencing our coral reefs. So you can easily make a difference in your daily life. Turning off lights you're not actively using, conserving water, and decreasing our carbon footprints are all easily ways to help our coral reefs. 

Again, being a conscious consumer is important for our ocean. When you buy products for your skin, make sure they're not going to harm our coral reefs. Check out Stream2Sea's information page to find out more.