By Mollie Mansfield
The ‘Female Indiana Jones’ who surfs through trash filled oceans to warn of dangers of plastic pollution shows comparison to ‘last pristine place on Earth’.
Alison Teal, the ‘Female Indiana Jones’, has shared footage of the Galapagos to show how local communities are maintaining the islands to keep it as one of the last pristine places on Earth.
Alison, from Hawaii, US, visited the islands of Isabella and Santa Cruz before being joined by locals in San Cristobal where she experienced the communal beach clean up.
The cleanup consisted of the islands residents meetings to do their bit to clean up the little rubbish that had been left on the beach – immediately restoring the land back to its cleanest state.
The explorer hopes that the footage will serve as a model for other countries to follow in order to help beat the plastic pollution epidemic the world is currently facing.
Alison said: “The secret of keeping the Galapagos paradise is that the locals love their Archipelago – protecting the Galapagos is in their hearts.
“The children learn in school not throw plastic and they even teach the adults and visitors.
“Family is the basis for taking care of the conservation – they take pride in their island and the children learn how important it is to keep plastics and other pollution out of the environment.
“Getting to join in on both above and below water beach cleanups I saw first hand the true dedication of the local communities in keeping their homeland clean.
“If we have a global shift in consciousness, our entire planet can operate this way as well.
“The only plastic and other trash that I was able to find and collect was in more populated harbor areas.
“Where you have people you have waste, however the locals have a highly effective management system for compost, trash, and recycling and what does make it in the ocean it’s cleaned up often times by the children who excitedly clean up plastic like it’s a treasure hunt.
“It’s inspirational how the Galapagos compared to some of the other places in the world that I have visited where I could surf through oceans of rubbish.”
Whilst visiting the islands, Alison also noted how the locals are doing all they can to help preserve the rare wildlife that frequents the land.
She said: “Galapagos is taking admirable conservation action within the archipelago, however climate change poses a very severe threat to many of the animals, some of which are highly endangered.
“For example there are only about 600 couples of Galápagos penguins left as prey species declines (as waters warm) and breeding becomes more stress-induced and, therefore, less successful.
“Animals such as the marine iguana are considered vulnerable to extinction due to climate change effecting their only food source – so they need to be protected.
“Alongside this, the island has the Galapagos giant tortoise which are the largest and longest living tortoise, so their habitat needs to be preserved as they have almost gone extinct once before.
“By the locals doing the weekly beach cleans, it at least emits the chance of the animals being tangled in plastic or eating trash.”
But despite the Galapagos being dubbed one of the last pristine places on Earth, Alison claims that the plastic pollution worldwide is having an impact on its waters.
She added: “The Galapagos is working hard to protect it’s fragile ecosystem.
“They conduct weekly beach cleanup’s and the government has outlawed single use plastics.
“However the Galapagos is under threat by plastics carried on ocean currents from the rest of the world.
“They have seen labels from as far as Saudi Arabia, China, other South American countries, and the US.
“We must come together as an entire planet to protect our environment, our oceans, and the animals that call home.”