Millions of mussels cover the shoreline of western Canadian beaches. This year, because of the record-breaking heatwave and droughts, most of those mussels are dead.
Temperatures along the western Canadian coast have hit extreme highs, shattering previous heat records and creating harsh conditions for wildlife. Marine life has had to endure unlivable conditions as their ecosystem feels the effects of the heat.
Visitors to the coast describe the nauseating crunch they hear upon having to walk on dried-up mussel shells. So many of these dead creatures have washed up on the shore, it’s impossible not to step on them.
It’s not just mussels, either. Anemones, snails, clams, and sea stars can be seen decaying in the hot sands, having essentially been cooked in their own habitats as the seawater grows warmer. The smell of rotting sea animals is overwhelming to those visiting the beach, who find themselves seeking shade and relief from the heat after just a few minutes in the sun. Sadly, sea animals don’t have the option to simply find a shady spot when they get too warm, instead of having to endure the extreme temperatures even to death.
Generally known for surviving even the harshest conditions, mussels help filter and clean ocean water. Such a large number of dead mussels is sure to affect water quality and sea animals that depend on them.
Canadian residents have been feeling the effects of this heat as well. 500 people have unexpectedly died from the heatwave, and that number is expected to increase. Brush fires are burning across the western region of Canada, destroying acres of land and even entire towns.
It’s clear the world is feeling the effects of climate change, and it’s up to us to do all that we can to help fix it! Let’s commit to doing our part for the planet.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef, we support all efforts to make our world a better place to live. Real change starts with making the right choices every day. We must all work together and make lasting changes for the good of our world and for future generations.
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