Sunday, April 19, 2009

Clean An Ocean, Save a Planet

Interesting boat? I think so, but what's really interesting in this picture isn't the boat. It's really the paddler and what she's doing. In 2007, Margo Pellegrino of New Jersey paddled this boat from Miami to Maine in an effort to raise awareness in the general public about the state of the world's oceans. A few days ago, she began another journey to continue this awareness campaign. She's paddling from Ft Pierce, Florida to New Orleans, a trip of about 1000 miles to again bring to mind the sad state of ocean pollution.

Not enough can be said about this topic. Everyone who paddles has found examples of our mindless littering of the shorelines. A number of bloggers, from Newfoundland, New York and Australia have shown that it's possible to collect rainbows of litter just by making a short walk along a beach these days. Our mess is everywhere. Our oceans are in big trouble. We need to find solutions to our destructive behaviour. Sadly we often work against ourselves in our effort to help. In Key West recently, some paddlers were "caught and fined" for cleaning up the garbage on a small mangrove island. The court ruled they had been stealing fishermen's trap buoys... Margo's trips help raise awareness, the first step in working on solving this problem.

So I'll be encouraging Margo on her trip. Visit her web site and get to know her vision. I know she's on Facebook if you want to follow her trip as well.


Richard Hayes said...

Infuriating, isn't it?

The short stretch along the shore by the old railway track where we walk our dog is fast becoming a local dumping ground. Our walk a few days ago showed that some dimwit (or dimwits) had added a number of buckets of old concrete and about 125 tires, most still mounted on rims, to the bags of garbage that litter the area. And then there's the old water heater dumped there a few years ago, that just keeps washing back and forth amongst the rocks...

Part of the blame can be laid at the doors of the various authorities responsible for waste disposal; about two years ago, the local dump was closed without making any provision for local collection of bulk garbage, making it necessary for us to go to the St. John's Regional landfill to get rid of anything. That's close to an hour's driving each way, and while most of us just do it when we have to, there's a certain subset of subhumans that don't. So the woods along the side roads and our beaches are filling up with trash again...

Richard Hayes said...

Make that 15 tires - it's all bad enough without typo-driven exaggeration...

Michael said...

If we spent half as much on disposal as we do on consumption, we'd probably solve the problem. Instead we make disposing of stuff nearly impossible forcing us to litter...

Kayak4all said...

Hey From The MiddleEst

Attn: Sea Kayaking and Marine Sport participants
From: Rony Levinson – Steering For Clear Water, Founder and Organizer
The 5th Steering For Clear Water
An Annual Eco-Odyssey of Israel’s Shoreline and Inner Lakes

About: The Kayak4all- Zevulun Sea Kayaking Club (a non-profit organization) is working relentlessly to raise public awareness towards the preservation and protection of the Marine and Coastal Environments.

Since 2005, the club members – healthy and disabled, men and women, children and adults – have all been working with thousands of schoolchildren, students and cadets on promoting this issue. We have also been collaborating with the government and its agencies, local authorities and NGOs, all towards the goal of keeping our coasts, water and beaches clean and waste and pollution-free year-round.

Ongoing Activities:
Throughout the year we teach and conduct workshops in schools and other educational institutes regarding clean beaches, clean sea and raising public awareness towards marine and coastal environmental issues such as water pollution, waste and negligence.

The Trip:
The highlight of our activity is the annual “Steering for Clear Water” Eco-Odyssey – a week-long sea kayaking trip along the Mediterranean coastline, the beaches of the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee where we meet local communities and visitors from Israel and abroad. We aim to empower and expand the circle of those who care about keeping our marine and coastal environments clean, protecting their eco-systems and environmental integrity.

Since 2007 we have had the honor of collaborating with a Sea Kayaking club in Sicily, Italy, in which a similar trip is taking place during the same dates and which is based on the Israeli model.

Our 2007 trip ended in the renewing Jaffa Port (in Tel-Aviv) where we were honored by the presence of Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister, the honorable Mr. Gideon Ezra, as well as hundreds of visitors from Israel and abroad.

2009 Partners:
We aim to constantly expand the cycle of champions for the Marine and Coastal environments. This year, for example, we are privileged to collaborate with the support of The Green Net (a non-profit NGO) and its “Sea Surroundings” project. “Sea Surroundings” is an educational project which is aimed at informing and educating students and communities about various Environmental Issues. This year’s subject is Climate Change and its influence on marine and coastal environments.

We are happy to share our knowledge and understanding of the fragility and sensitivity of the marine and coastal environments with the support of this important project.

Some of our other partners:
§ Bank Hapoalim – Isarel’s Largest Private Banking Group
§ The Environmental Protection Ministry – Sea and Coasts Division
§ The Caesarea Development Company
§ The Nature Protection Society – Israel’s Oldest Environmental NGO
§ SEPA – Diving and Nautical Sports Gear
§ FedEx
§ The Jaffa Port Authority
§ And Various Educational frameworks and projects

We are willing to work with anyone - whether they are young or old, fit or unfit, big corporations or caring citizens, government or NGOs, optimists and pessimist alike - who wants to look at, fish, swim, paddle, sail, surf or dive in a clean sea and who are willing to take responsibility and do something about it.

We are looking forward to work with others who share our passion and vision of healthy people steering through clear water, in a healthy Marine and Coastal Environment.

Additional Information can be found in our website –
Via email:
Or by Phone to Mr. Rony Levinson – Founder and Organizer: +972-54-7757076