Sea Lions and Dolphins Dying

This has been a hard year for dolphins and sea lions in California.

Sea Lions and Dolphins Dying
Photo by Maxim Rojas / Unsplash
Sea lions

Hi everyone, welcome to another blog post where we learn English from real-world news articles. Today, we are going to read about a serious environmental problem that is affecting marine animals in California. Here is a summary of the article:

A large number of sea lions and dolphins have been found on the shore in California, dead or dying from a neurotoxin called domoic acid. This toxin is produced by algae that grow in the ocean and are eaten by fish, which are then eaten by sea lions and dolphins. Experts think that the algal blooms are caused by agricultural runoff and warming oceans due to climate change. A group of volunteers from the Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) are trying to rescue and treat the sick animals, but they are overwhelmed by the number of calls and cases they receive every day. They say this is the worst outbreak they have ever seen.

Let's look at some interesting expressions from the article that you can learn:

  • stranded: unable to leave a place or situation
  • algal bloom: a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system
  • runoff: water that flows over land into rivers or lakes after rain
  • disorientation: a state of confusion about where you are, where you are going, or what is happening
  • floodgates: something that controls or limits something else
  • flush out: to remove something unwanted from a place or system

Can you use these expressions in your own sentences? Share them in the comments below and I'll give you some feedback. Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Neurotoxin: Poison that affects the nervous system.
Domoic acid: A type of neurotoxin.
Algae: Simple plants that grow in water.
Bloom: Rapid growth of something.
Runoff: Water that flows over land.
Climate change: Long-term changes in Earth’s weather.
Volunteer: Someone who works without pay.
Rescue: To save from danger.
Treat: To give medical care.
Sick: Not healthy; ill.
Overwhelmed: Overcome by too much work or emotion.
Outbreak: Sudden increase in something bad.
Stranded: Stuck in a place.
Disorientation: Confusion about where you are.
Floodgates: Something that controls or limits.


Marine animal poisonings overwhelm California volunteers
GAVIOTA (UNITED STATES) - Denise Christ regularly comes across injured wildlife in her work rescuing beached or stranded marine mammals along the California coast.
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Here are some tips for getting the most out of this site.

Beginners: My strategy is to first read the translation while listening to the audio. Then I listen to each sentence individually. After that, I practice saying the vocabulary words out loud. Finally, I listen to the whole text again without reading the translation. I don't try to remember or understand everything. I just let the language sink in as I gain more exposure. (Videos about Comprehensible Input)

Intermediate Learners: To gain some speaking practice, try opening the translation in your native language and then translate it back into the language you're learning. If you encounter any difficulties, you can refer to the transcripts.

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