Wildfire Relief: Impact on the Ocean
The frequency of western U.S. wildfires has increased by 400% since 1970. The largest of these fires have burned six times the land area as before and last five times longer. There are a few reasons why the wildfires have increased but the biggest underlying cause is climate change.
The five most damaging wildfires in U.S. history have occurred all within the past 3 years. The fire season itself is also about two months longer than it was 50 years ago.
These fires affect not only our air quality, forest, and lifestyle; they have a huge environmental impact on our ocean ecosystem. When burned soil flows into streams and rivers it fertilizes the water plants and algae, but too much nutrients at once can cause over-fertilization. This causes as massive algae bloom which consumes most of the oxygen in water leaving marine life to asphyxiate.
It’s not just the burnt soil that hurts marine life. The iron rich smoke lands in the ocean as well which could cause a huge plankton bloom called “red tide”. The bloom itself isn’t bad in itself but when the plankton eventually come into shore they cover the coral reefs which causes the reef to die out from lack of sunlight or oxygen. Coral reefs may only occupy less than 1% of the sea floor, but they are a habitat for over 25% of marine life.
The immediate needs of those affected by the wildfires are great, and the recovery process will be long and difficult in communities throughout the state. While there is no Ocean Wildfire relief fund here's a few charities that you can donate to today to make a big impact:
For the sake of our natural ecosystems and for the sake of future generations on this planet, we must all do our part in being conscious about the impact we have on our environment. Here's a few ways you can help:
Wildfire Relief Funds
The California Fire Foundation provides direct financial assistance to fire victims with its SAVE Fund and also helps firefighters and their families who have experienced losses from wildfires through the California Firefighters Benevolent Fund.
About Conscious Minimalist
In June 2020, we created a Conscious Community for our customers to know that they can find high quality products that are ethically sourced, sustainable, and environmentally conscious. The key concept of being a Conscious Minimalist is being intentional about what you purchase and the impact that it has, everything in moderation. Every product in our community is 100% sustainably and ethically made. With every purchase, we donate to protect our oceans and support local non-profits that are aligned to building a more conscious and positive society.