This winter my family and I visited a small island off Puerto Rico. It was my first experience of that part of the world.

At the beach, when you put your face underwater, you see dozens of fish the color of the white sand swimming in twos and threes all around you. They nibble at your feet and play in the waves.

The island is famous for its bioluminescent bays. Long ago, the native people believed that they were the birthplace of the stars. The mangrove forest around the edge of the bay emits a chemical concoction high in vitamin B12 that millions of tiny creatures called dinoflagellates devour, making them shine brightly at night.

In this incredibly complex, delicate ecosystem, the bioluminescent creatures thrive. The light they produce is activated by movement, so when a fish swims through the water it glows, transforming into a graceful, neon orb dancing in the water.

Since I first saw these amazing creatures, the knowledge that they, along with their habitats, could be gone in the next 50 years because of climate change has terrified me.

Our consumption of fossil fuels is not only diminishing the beauty of the world, but also the diversity of life. Rising sea and air temperatures are only the beginning of the problem. We need to start moving.

Every person needs to do something. Stand up for the world that is slipping away in front of our eyes. Kids my age (13) are used to being ignored, but it is time that everyone gets a say – after all, we will inherit the damaged planet.

Send a letter to a politician, to a magazine or newspaper or even the president. Get your thoughts and opinions heard. It’s the only way forward.

Isabella Burnap, 13