Heroes

Sea lions usually live in the ocean. So why are so many showing up on land?

Whether it's caused by El Niño or climate change, things aren't looking so great for some of our favorite marine mammals.

Sea lions usually live in the ocean. So why are so many showing up on land?

A week ago, a seal lion pup wandered into a fancy California restaurant.

It was an adorable story of a wayward pup at The Marine Room in La Jolla, California.

But it turns out the pup, nicknamed Marina, wasn't looking for hot brunch spot; she was looking for help.

When sea lions can't find food, they're forced to make their way to the shore to prevent from drowning. Sadly, on shore, there's not exactly a huge supply of food awaiting them, either.


A stranded adult sea lion is seen in the sand in Laguna Beach, Calif., in March 2015. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

Over the past few years, an inexplicably high number of malnourished sea lions have been washing up on California's shores, and nobody really knows what to do.

So far this year, 40 sea lions have been rescued in the San Diego area alone. Last year, nearly 1,000 washed ashore. Some suspect it has to do with El Niño, which has warmed the water and wiped out the sea lions' food supply —  anchovies, sardines, herring salmon, and plankton that are dying off — but this issue has been building for the past several years.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the number of sea lions stranded ashore is 20 times higher than it was a decade ago. That's not good, and it's a sign that this is a much larger issue than simply El Niño. 

Climate change plays a big role in this potentially devastating problem.

This photo from July 17, 2015 shows members of SeaWorlds Animal Rescue Team returning rehabilitated sea lions back into the ocean. Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images.

If we want a long-term solution, we need to address climate change.

If you've been looking for a reason to care about climbing temperatures, how about for the well-being of the adorable sea lions?

A group of sea lions hang out on a San Francisco dock in December 2007. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Marina's story had a happy ending, but there are thousands of other sea lions still in need. Here's hoping they get help.

The poor little pup was starving. Luckily, Marine Room manager Matt Caponi and employees were quick to get the 8-month-old the help she needed, calling a SeaWorld rescue team. The sea lion has been given some food, shelter, and is expected to make a full recovery.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less