At 11:58 AM 8/8/96 -0400, you wrote: >I am located outside Washington DC, and am very concerned for the well >being of whales, especially Belugas. What can I do as a 26 year old >person(who doesn't make alot of money) to help protect whales and other >sea life? > >I am very involved politically, in writing senators and congressmen, but >feel I never get a response that is helpful let alone beneficial. I >guess thinking a species, any species, becoming extinct doesn't scare >them as much as it scares me! > >What does it take to get this country, and other countries, to stop the >bureaucratic b.s. and start prioritizing the real needs of this world. >People are becoming numb and feeling that it is a lost cause to even >attempt to get the system to work, and unfortunatly the environment and >wildlife become the sufferors. > >Please, if you have any ideas. > > The fact that you are politically active actually does a lot of good. I read a statistic that for each letter a our political leaders receive, they estimate that forty other people have a similar opinion. That adds up to a lot of clout for each of us that feels moved to write for our views. I might suggest that you join a society of other similar-minded people, for instance the Sierra Club, or World Wildlife Fund, or another organization that does good work on the behalf of our wildlife. Help them campaign. They are always looking for people to help. Another suggestion, which I realize is not always feasible for a person, is to become involved with research by volunteering your particular area of expertise. You'd be surprised that so many of us involved in research can use help in almost any avenue, be it accounting, computer programming, data base management, data entry, data collection, photo development, and the list goes on and on. Even a month of volunteering can do a world of good! There must be loads of organizations near DC that could use your help and expertise... I wish you luck, and offer you some optomistic words. I work aboard commercial whale watching vessels, and see a change - everyday - in the way that people think about the ocean and its inhabitants. Many people are overwhelmed and surprised by the beauty of the whales and their environment, and tell me how unexpected and moving the whole experience was. All we have to do is just help people open their eyes a bit to the importance of caring for and respecting nature. Good luck, and please don't lose hope!