Ocean Book

Carolyn Roblyer

Frederiksted Pier

Ocean Book

"I chose a storybook format for my mural on the Frederiksted Pier in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to present different aspects of the environmental crisis in the Caribbean Sea.

Open the book and you find that the sea temperature has soared to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the page and you see the destruction that heat has caused: a coral reef now looks like a graveyard of white skeletons, victims of coral bleaching caused by global warming caused by human-made pollution. This poor reef has also been victimized by humans’ trash.

Turn the page and there is a healthy, vibrantly colorful coral reef, teeming with healthy colorful fish—the way it used to look and hopefully the way it will look once again, with human help. Turn another page and there is a Moko Jumbie, the Caribbean stilt-walking spirit/culture bearer, doing the right thing by planting mangroves along the shoreline to keep human debris from washing into the bay, a breeding ground for sea life. And turn another page and there are St. Croix’s three giant sea-turtle species walking the beach—a Green Turtle, a Hawksbill and a Leatherback. They continue to choose our island as the place to lay their eggs.

Humans continue to enjoy the island too. The storybook closes with a scene on the Frederiksted Pier. Kids are jumping off the pier into the ocean, men and women are fishing, a scuba diver heads to a dive boat, couples are strolling. Life goes on. A happy ending.

PC: Misty Winter Photography