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The Online Magazine for Sustainable Seas
December 1998 Vol. 1 No. 12

                    What is a Sea Squirt?

ore environment-friendly things you can do to help keep our ocean clean and healthy:








  • Avoid use of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) -- it takes up a lot of space at landfills, and it is non-biodegradable and deadly to marine life! Avoid fastfood restaurants that use Styrofoam, or ask for paper cups and plates (or the good old chinaware) instead of plastic.

  • Boycott companies that sell any product made from endangered plants or animals.

  • Avoid releasing those toy balloons in the open -- they often end up in the ocean and kill marine animals that swallow them.

  • Talk to your classmates about what you know about the environment and teach them easy ways to help with conservation. Also, ask your teacher to include the environment in your regular class discussions.

  • Get together with your friends and form an environment club. As a group you can start a recycling program in your class or the entire school.

  • Join the I Love the Ocean Movement. Call tel. 1-800-1888-1823 for information.

Sea turtle heads back to sea. This sea turtle was caught in early 1998 in Dauin, Negros Oriental by a group of fishers. It was turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, tagged for monitoring purposes and released a few days later. Many fishers and their families -- including young children -- in places like Dauin and Apo Island, also in Negros Oriental, are actively involved in coastal resource management and ocean conservation in their area.

What is a Sea Squirt?

Sea squirts are marine organisms belonging to the family Ascidiaceae. Though seldom noticed or distinguished by casual divers and snorkelers, they are highly interesting and important. They are diverse and colorful, and inhabit all types of marine habitats. They filter bacteria from seawater and can store heavy metals in their tunic (a flexible external covering or 'exoskeleton'). A number of important products have been identified in sea squirts, making these organisms a good candidate for discovery of potential medicinal compounds from the sea.

Children Speak!

This page is for you. If you have any poetry, artwork, photos, comments, experiences about the sea, news, suggestions, questions -- anything at all that you would like to say about our ocean -- send it to

and we'll post them on this page. Don't forget to tell us a bit about yourself (your name, age, the name of your town or city and the name of your country).

Adults who write for children are most welcome too!


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This website was made possible through support provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms and conditions of Contract No. AID-492-0444-C-00-6028-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID.

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