Why the Coati Club?

The Coati (co-AH-tee) is a relative of the raccoon with a long nose, masked face, and a striped tail. Coatis are curious and energetic, just like kids!

Coati Club News, Earth Day 2018

Celebrate Our Beautiful Planet

Did you know that we have a special day just to celebrate our planet? It is called Earth Day, and it started in the United States way back in 1970! April 22nd is a day to help people remember how important it is to protect our environment and the biodiversity of the Earth- and to suggest and share ways we can all contribute. The goal is to limit or eliminate air, water, and soil pollution. Although it started in the United States, Earth Day has become a worldwide celebration.

Earth Day 2018 Focus

Plastic nodule on finger for scale

The special focus for Earth Day, 2018, is ending plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is when things made of plastic build up in the environment. Plastic pollution negatively affects the land and oceans. On land, many plastic bottles, bags, or containers do not break down or decompose for hundreds of years. Animals can get tangled in discarded plastic objects, or eat pieces of plastic materials, causing them to become sick. Often they don’t survive. In the ocean, fish or aquatic mammals can get tangled up in fishing line and are unable to swim. Other plastic objects may break down into very small pieces, called microplastics, in the ocean water. Animals accidentally take in these tiny particles which get concentrated in greater numbers and sicken animals as they pass up the food chain.

Plastic Pollution in the Sea of Cortez


About 200 miles Southwest of Tucson is the Sea of Cortez, a part of the Pacific Ocean between Baja California and Mexico. This is one of the areas where scientists are concerned about plastic pollution. Whales, sharks, and rays can take in plastic when they eat. The endangered Whale Shark, the largest fish in the world, feeds on tiny plankton and small fish. If they swallow very small pieces of plastic along with their food, their overall health, including the way they grow, can be affected. Learn more about microplastics in the ocean and how we can prevent this problem by watching this video.

How Can You Help Our Planet?

How can you help? You can make choices every day that use less energy, save water, and protect habitat for life on Earth. Check out this list of ideas you can do for Earth Day - and EVERY day - to help make a difference!

Photo credits: Microplastic, PBS Learning Media; Whale Shark, Julie Xelowski-Brooker

Retrieved from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum web site on 06-23-2024