Sunny days are coming, the water is warming up and we'll finally be able to set foot in the water, close to home or in a more exotic country!
Get your aqua shoes on!! These small water shoes allow us to walk safely on the sand/rocks or in the water!
Did You Say "Safely"?
Maybe not for everyone in fact!
The fragile soles of our feet will certainly be protected from cuts and stings of all kinds, but it can turn us into Attila of the seashores!
We mustn't forget that we're always in an environment naturally populated by beings that are more fragile than we are, but that are nevertheless indispensable.
We're never alone! Walking in the water is a very pleasant experience, although even more so when we pay attention to what's happening right under our feet! Indeed, whether on the shore of the sea or lake, close to your home or elsewhere, the fauna and the flora on shore are present and fragile.
It's up to us to ensure their preservation for future generations.
Overseas Flora and Fauna
Some examples of marine biodiversity, essential to the ecosystem.
Did you know that coral has an average annual growth of 1 to 2 cm and that coral reefs are key worldwide biodiversity locations?
They make superb nurseries for the entire ocean ecosystem. It's thanks to the coral reef that you can admire all of the small multicoloured fish, moray eels, shells .... It's also the first line of defence against the onslaught of the ocean and its destructive waves.
Are you familiar with mangroves?
They breathe through very fragile, small tubes that protrude a few centimetres from the ground, known as "pneumatophores". Mangroves look like half-submerged forests at high tide, serving as nurseries as well as a refuge for all of the animals that live there.
They also protect shores from the onslaught of waves and therefore from erosion. Finally, did you know that genuine underwater meadows feed a lot of herbivores and shelter many fish and their eggs?
They're plants, not algae, and they feed, among other things, the dugongs and green turtles that we all love. Located near the shore, they're very sensitive to human activities.
... And on Coasts Closer to Home!
They also deserve our full attention!
In the Mediterranean, we can find these posidonia meadows, spawning grounds and nurseries for a whole lot of fish as well as important food sources for sea urchins for example.
Fragile sea horses can also hide there.
Everywhere along the water's edge, we encounter a lot of animals that must not be crushed : sea urchins, anemones, starfish, shellfish and even nudibranchs (similar to tiny, multicoloured slugs)...
And Let's Not Forget Tin Fresh Water!
Our lakes, rivers and ponds... So many areas full of aquatic life.
Here, the reed beds offer shelter for nesting and feeding a whole host of birds, fish, insects and amphibians. Even in small puddles on the riverbanks, we can spot a lot of small fish fry or tadpoles that will later give birth to nice frogs that are essential for regulating the insect population.
Wildlife is so rich that this is just a glimpse of everything we can discover at our feet (and not under them!).
Nature guides and associations are often available wherever you might be on holiday so don't hesitate to call on them and to turn your excursions into real discoveries of another world.
Open your eyes, enjoy, walk safely, but be careful not to trample or damage anything so that everyone coming after you can make the most of everything you marvelled at on this beautiful summer's day.
PS: You will be attacked by the waste of humanity (broken bottles, hard plastic, etc ...). In that case, show no mercy! Pick it up and throw it unceremoniously into the first trash can! Picking up one piece of rubbish is good, by the million it's a collective rescue!
Remember, A crushing foot is a regrettable accident, Millions of feet are genocide!