Sea Lions Are in Danger // And That Means We Are Too

Doug Torres has a lot of claims to fame. First, there are his looks. This one is a no-brainer — just look at him. Did you know he was on a magazine cover once? Yeah, that was during a short stint as a model. And he’s sure that would have gone on a lot longer if his other careers didn’t take off. 

That leads to his next claim to fame: His heroics. I don’t even have to ask if you remember when Atlantians attacked La Playa. Well, Doug was luckily there. That’s lucky for the civilians the Atlantians planned to take hostage — Doug was a firefighter, a brave one at that. Oh, and innovative. Smart, too. So he used a car door as a makeshift shield, blocking civilians from the incoming Atlantian invaders. 

Oh, and then there’s his third claim to fame:  Doug saved a cat from a tree once during his time as a firefighter. That was before joining D.R.I. Of course, that was nice of him to do. Of course the little kid was beyond ecstatic once reunited with their cat. But did it really have to be shared in newspapers? Did it really have to be on the local news? Because then Doug sort of became the “cat saver.” His boys wouldn’t let him really live that one down for the longest time. 

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But despite the frustration with the constant mocking, Doug never regretted saving that cat. Well I mean, of course not. That would mean he was fine letting a cat die in a tree. And he wasn’t. But it’s more than that. Doug would never admit this after all that torment, but he’s a total animal lover. 

And that’s why he’s constantly been disturbed by the number of sea lions that wash up on the shores in California. Every time he sees it he knows it’s partially his fault. It’s humanity’s doing. And D.R.I. has only sped it up without a care for the animals that call the ocean home. And now it’s coming back to haunt him. 

What’s happening to the sea lions? //

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AP Photo/Don Ryan

For the past few decades, sea lions in California have continuously died of cancer. After 20 years of research, scientists have uncovered the reason — and it’s sadly not surprising at all. It’s caused by humans. 

The cause of the cancer is toxic chemicals from industrial trash, pesticides, and oil refinery waste. The large amount of these compounds in the environment have predisposed sea lions to cancer. 

The amount of dumping in California increased in the 1970s, leading to extreme levels of pollutants, which is found and measured in the sea lions’ blubber. Researchers said it is the highest level of pollutants found in “any marine animal” due to the continuous dumping from that state.

The entire ocean — and humanity — is at risk //

While the high levels of pollutants found in the sea lions are shocking (and terrifying), that’s only the beginning. These findings only mean that other animals off of California’s coast may be facing similar issues. This also includes humans. 

The sea lions that Doug often sees on the beaches are living in the same waters that he’s seen Jayden surf in. The same waters he has swum in himself. The same ocean he grew up on. The same waters where he and so many countless others get their food. 

The solution is to prevent ecosystem contamination with “persistent organic pollutants,” the study concluded. But meanwhile, thousands of sea lion pups wash up on the California coast each year. The numbers only continue to increase due to global warming. The increase in water temperature has depleted a lot of the sea lions’ main food sources. 

It’s not looking good for sea lions — or the ocean in general. 

But it’s not too late. Spreading awareness of these issues is a good start. Some people aren’t aware that this is happening. It’s hard to know every issue plaguing the world when there are so many. But we hope to inform the gaming community of the problems destroying the world’s oceans, not only through blogs but through campaigns and conservation efforts. 

There’s a reason TideTurn is happening. There is a reason this war over the earth’s oceans has become so big. What will you fight for?


Olivia “y05h1eggz” Richman //

Stanion Studios Marketing Copyeditor

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