Today's post is a transcript of a conversation between Luna and Jodi to reflect back on Luna's study of the Coastal Plains before taking our study North to the Central Plains.
Jodi: Hello Luna, today we are going to be doing our last post on the Texas coastal plains. We'll doing a quick review, will talk about our last trip and then we'll move on to study the Central Plains region of Texas. So, for a quick recap, what is the first thing we learned about when learning about the coastal plains which included a study of marine life.
Luna: We tackled learning about turtles and sharks and how they can be in danger. For sharks, some people will fish for sharks, cut off their fins and then just release them into the wild. I saw it in a video once, and there was this person that like saw a nurse shark just trying to swim but it couldn't. It was going down to the bottom and so that person documented it, not with audio commentary but just like the video part, and put it (projected) on a wall in a restaurant so that everyone could see it. What all the people did with their soup, they just pushed it away from them. I bet I know that they were thinking, "that's just too cruel, we're not doing that." They refused to eat it, or even pay for it I think... I don't know, I need to watch that video again.
Jodi: Well, they probably didn't know how that soup came to be.
Luna: Right, right, until they saw it.
Jodi: What about turtles? What is it that is their biggest danger?
Luna: Plastic bags, bottles, and all that, especially clear plastic bags. There are these jellyfish that are clear and it's their favorite kind of food, they (the turtles) can't get stung, they mistake the bags for their favorite food.
Jodi: What percentage of sea turtles do researchers think have plastic in their bodies?
Luna: Um, 52 out of 100.
Jodi: Before we went to Galveston we talked about how the coastline is used for many different things, it's used for swimming, it's used for fishing, what else is it used for?
Luna: Oil rigs and war ships, as I like to call them.
Jodi: Let's talk a little bit about the oil rigs and refineries. There are places out in the ocean where oil is drilled, tell me about those.
Luna: If they're handled responsibly they can be habitable, because at the aquarium, which you should go there if you're interested in seeing it, it showed that coral can grow on it.
Jodi: Yes, coral can grow on the oil rig underwater and create a marine habitat. What about once the oil gets to a refinery where it's made into a product we can use. What did we see there?
Luna: We saw lots of smoke.
Jodi: Smoke, yes, and pollution. But we also learned that the oil industry in Texas brings in a lot of jobs and a lot of money that people pay taxes on which helps pay for some things that we need.
Luna: The ambulance that takes you if there's an emergency, and roads, and police force. It's a topic that has two sides.
Jodi: We also talked about why the ocean looks different in Galveston, than when we go to Florida which is a little farther east.
Luna: Where the water's a little clearer.
Jodi: Why is the water not as clear in Galveston?
Luna: It could be because more sand is there. All rivers go to the ocean.
Jodi: So if all rivers empty into the ocean, why is it that the Galveston side has more silt than the Florida side?
Luna: It could be because of more pollution also, but I would say the flow of the water. The tides are controlled by the moon, which I'm sure you know. If you've ever been out walking by the ocean at night the waves are rougher, because of the pull of the moon.
Jodi: Let's talk about the moon, we can come back to the idea of clean water, but what else is in the Texas Coastal Plains that is a cool thing for Texas?
Luna: Oh, the space center! We saw this video, and they (the astronauts) were kind of playing around while getting the job done. You should go to that area because that video is a bit amusing.
Jodi: And it's amazing to see the bravery of the first people to go out in space.
Luna: But those two weren't the fist to walk in space, but Neil Armstrong, as we all know was the first one to walk on the moon.
Jodi: Getting back to pollution in water, we did some investigating on the drain water in our area and did a test on it. What did we find out? Was the water habitable?
Luna: Yeah it was! And the Galveston water was also habitable.
Jodi: Tell your readers a little bit about your children's book.
Luna: It's a children's book about a little baby turtle that's female named Misty. And, we named her that because it's a pretty good name for a sea turtle that's female. We need to take the book to the printer and find people to sell it. If you see it in a store near you, just please check it out, it would mean a lot to me.
Jodi: Tell your readers the name of your book.
Luna: For the Love of Turtles
Jodi: So we ended our study of the coastal plains by visiting Sea World San Antonio and that has always been a favorite place of yours...
Jodi: ...because you love seeing the animals. But this time, we talked about how it is for the animals, and I think it created some conflict in your heart because you love the fact that the animals are there and you get to see them, and you feel like they are treated well. But, tell me about what the flip side of that was for you.
Luna: That like, the Orcas don't have enough space to get away from each other if they need to. So they end up fighting, and I imagine almost killing each other. I don't want to hurt any of your guys' hearts, but it's just how I feel (we are unaware of any Orcas being nearly killed in fights at Sea World). I think it's good for them to live in tanks if there were more space to make them feel more at home if they were rescued from the wild.
Jodi: What about the ones who were born into captivity? They may not be able to make it in the wild because they have never lived in the wild.
Luna: So that's why I think they should have a bit more space. I feel that if they are captured just so that they can perform, if that's their only purpose, it really breaks my heart. If their only purpose is to be performing... I really want them to thrive and live a happy life. I don't really know if they enjoy it that much, I don't know what's going on inside their heads.
Jodi: We can see evidence that they have good relationships with their trainers, right?
Luna: I think that definitely the sea lions are happy to be there, because I feel like they're thriving there. But going back to the orcas and belugas, expecting the ones who were born into captivity to stay there I think it should be a little bit more spacey. I feel like I want to say if any of you viewers are employees at Sea World, I really want you to consider my suggestions, it would mean so much to me!
Jodi: Luna, we are moving on from the coastal plains to the great plains of Texas. We've started to talk about and learn about how people would have lived early on in Texas' history. What are some of the things we've started to explore?
Luna: Well, can I just say one thing? You made me try one little slice of bison and I didn't even bite into it, I held it in my mouth, I sucked on it and was like, "Ugh!" I didn't like it.
Jodi: Why did we smoke some bison to try?
Luna: to torture me? Ha, I'm kidding! Native Americans!
Yes! We are learning about how the first Texas lived, both the native people and the settlers that came, so check back as we share more!