Why National Parks?

As population, production, and consumption grows, nature continues to be destroyed.   Land is stripped for its natural resources and sometimes left with irreversible damage.  In deforestation countless trees are cut down, which decreases the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere and destroys the habitats of species of animals.  These animals are forced to relocate to new areas, and many go extinct, causing an inbalance in nature.  Water sources are quickly depleted to be used in consumption and are often carelessly wasted.  Minerals are stripped from the ground to be used in production, which results in pollutants.  One of the major concerns is ocean acidification (which I did a group research project on), in which the excess carbon dioxide that is produced and emitted from factories into the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean and binds with calcium carbonate to form carbonate acid.  As this phenomenon continues to happen, sea creatures have less calcium carbonate available to form their skeletal structures, and their ecosystem becomes destroyed.  Marine pollution is also caused by the millions of tons of plastic that builds up in the ocean and oil spills from pure carelessness.

There is an endless list of ways that humans continue to destroy the environment and its ecosystems, and as more land is destroyed, these problems will only worsen.  This is why national parks, areas of land protected by the government to be preserved for future generations, are so vital for protecting nature.  National parks are more important than the average person acknowledges.  The National Park Service was created in 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson, and since then, fifty-eight national parks have been established.  Each one has a diverse set of species, landscapes, and stories behind them, which allows history and nature to be preserved.

The following video below gives a brief introduction to the National Parks of the United States.

At national parks, visitors are encouraged to leave as small of a footprint as they can on the area.  Pollution such as littering is strictly prohibited, and people are strongly discouraged from taking anything from the ecosystems, even if it were to be as small as a rock or pine cone.  No matter how small, everything a person does affects the environment, and so does anything they take away from it.  The water, air, and ecosystems themselves are kept healthy by the lack of human impact on them.  Those who visit the national parks learn to appreciate nature and are often inspired to do their part to preserve it.

Camping Trip (summer of 2011) 449

The plants and animals that inhabit these parks are provided with a safe home.  This allows for biodiversity to flourish, in which different species are protected instead of eliminated.

~ Written by Melissa.


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