Watermelon, baseball, cookouts, beach trips and fireworks: Does it get any better than summer? Summer is my favorite season for many reasons, but sitting in the sand with a warm summer breeze while watching fireworks takes me back to being a kid and the sheer joy summer entails.
The Fourth of July is also a day that unites all Americans. No matter where you live, it’s the perfect day to gather with family and friends, spend time outside and end the evening gazing upward at colorful explosions in sky.
But amid the excitement of finding the perfect perch to watch the fireworks display and the rush to beat the traffic after the show concludes, it’s easy to forget all the small pieces of cardboard and plastic that float back down to the ground after the amazing spectacle in the sky. Unfortunately, this debris can end up in our ocean, affecting the health of people, wildlife and economies.
Nicholas used a tasty family recipe to raise money for the ocean. Credit: Courtesy Nicholas Wheeler.
Nicholas Wheeler of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, has been busy this summer canning some seventy jars of pickles. What do pickles have to do with the ocean?
The 14-year-old is quick to draw a direct link. Among the weirdest things he’s found during beach cleanups was a full jar of pickles that had never been opened. Besides, they’re one of his favorite things to munch on.
“My mom’s grandmother had a pickle recipe,” he says. “I wanted to try it out because I love pickles. I’m going to sell them and give the money to Ocean Conservancy because ever since I was little, I’ve loved the ocean.” Continue reading »
Fishing is fine on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Credit: Catherine Fox
Fishing. It’s a cherished pastime that takes us away from the daily grind and instantly sets the mind at ease. “When the fish are biting, no problem in the world is big enough to be remembered,” said writer Orlando A. Battista.
Whether you love fishing or just enjoy the thrill of walking along a clean beach and watching wildlife, it’s important to understand that lost tackle can have serious consequences if we don’t clean it up.
Fishing gear lost in the water may not seem like a big deal compared with other types of trash, but when left behind inadvertently by fishermen whose lines break or snag, it’s a definite hazard:
Volunteers found this chic wardrobe accessory during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup in Washington, D.C., along the Anacostia River. Credit: Lucian Fox
A grand piano. A fifty-two-pound bag of dog hair. Chandeliers and kazoos, lawn chairs and lottery tickets. These are just a few of the crazy things discovered along lakes, rivers and the ocean’s shores over the past quarter-of-a-century during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.
Volunteers tally every item they pick up during the Cleanup, and Ocean Conservancy publishes the results in the annual Ocean Trash Index.
That information helps identify which items are showing up where, so we can take steps to stop ocean trash at the source. The official data card includes space to record 52 different things, from small cigarette butts and balloons to big household appliances.