Sad Earth Day for FIU

Photo: Oil can be clearly seen reaching the surface of the lake. Photo courtesy of Carlos Coba. 

Carlos Coba/Contributing Writer

Earth Day has been celebrated since April 22, 1970, to show support and dedication to environmental protection. However, what I witnessed on Monday, April 22 showed me that our University could be more concerned with expanding its campus than protecting its environment.

As I was walking back to my car and passed the bridge over the lake leading from the GL area to SIPA, I noticed there was oil all over the lake.

I called the police and by the time they got there, I had been there for an hour and a half or so, and it was dark, so I left. The truth is that the police’s presence was pointless; someone needed to drain oil out of the water immediately.

The oil spread in a pervasive way; it got so thick by the time I left that it accumulated into thick yellow muck in some areas of the lake. Within that muck swam the poor turtles, trying to breathe in the putridity of the diesel’s stench.

It is hard to point out the exact effect this will have on the animals; it will not be a positive one, but the effect it has on us should be a more passionate one than the status quo.

Turtles can be seen swimming surrounded by the oil that invaded their habitat. Photo courtesy of Carlos Coba.

Turtles can be seen swimming surrounded by the oil that invaded their habitat. Photo courtesy of Carlos Coba.

It should cause environmental studies majors and student organizations, such as Students for Environmental Action, to be outspoken about this, although it should not be limited to them.

The bottom line is, if all these animals were brought to campus to make it look nice, their habitats should be taken care of.

Water is life and campus maintenance should improve the oversight of all the tubing carrying wastes that could seep into the lake and affect the quality of its water.

Cleaning the campus should not be limited to making it visually appealing while forgetting about all the wildlife living in the lakes, which most of us do not even see.

Exactly a week later, on April 30, I walked by the same spot and once again saw a relatively smaller amount of oil under the bridge, where the turtles always come up to breathe.

It had been a week and there were still some signs of the oil, which makes the overall situation much more worrisome. Hopefully by the following weeks, there will be no sign of any oil in the lakes of our beautiful campus, and that maintenance will do all it can to avoid the incident from reoccurring. 

About the Author

Carlos Coba
Assistant News Director of FIUSM. Political Science/ International Relations 2ble major, Journalism minor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies certificate.

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