Monday, August 20, 2012

Guest Blog: Margo Pellegrino Day 10

Ack! My bad for not blogging! Yesterday we took a day do the staff could tend to some logistics and bike repair as Sean had a bike SNAFU on the boardwalk on Saturday's ride to Broad Channel. Also, with the nonstop rain that didn't break til later we figured no one would be on the beach to rally for our cause, so figured this would be a good day to regroup. The clouds did clear out and so I grabbed the family and we scouted the inlets and checked the beach situation at Jones Beach, which by the way is a gorgeous beach. The funny thing is that where the people aren't because of budget cuts (beaches were closed to swimming in these spots), there was an unbelievable amount of debris on the shore. The kids and I found a shop vac and dragged it along the sand by the water and collected more trash, but unfortunately that meant we missed the overwhelming stuff by the high water mark. Apparently the park staff gets to clean the closed beaches only once a month. How sad is that but it's also a statement that the cleaner beaches were where the people were there to see it and pick up all that stuff! Clearly this is analogous to the other ways we are messing u our ocean-if we see the problem we can fix it, but ONLY if we see it. That is crucial, and also makes me realize why we need to continue to do what we are doing, because Houston, we most definitely have a problem, and we are to tell you that and yes, that we have the power to fix that-as we should. We cannot maintain or blue space ship here in the universe or maintain a forward heading if we run in circles SNAFU-style all the time....!!

More tidbits-if you prone or SUP and care about the state of our environment particularly the ocean and love to help special needs kids, you migt want to check out SEApaddleNYC. It is an amazing event-wonderful race around Manhattan, a truly huge fundraising event and just plain wonderful experience-it was an honor to be invited to be there. The organizers, Rich Lee, Chris Matioch, Andrew Mencinsky, and their colleagues put on a smashing, smashing event that cannot be beat. And it's for a wonderful cause-Julia even got a book she had Izzy Paskowitz sign! He does amazing work and has led an amazing life surfing and sharing the joy of the ocean and that sport with autistic kids all over the country. What an inspiration he is-follow your heart, live the life, and give unto others. It doesn't get better than that.

The highlight of the night was seeing Cindy Zipf receive an award for her ocean activism. It was incredibly amazing to see, and I was honored to be a part of it-really so blown away by the whole thing. She has done so much for our ocean-if you live in NJ/NY and are happy you don't swim in municipal sludge (aka "poo") and medical waste, you owe it to Cindy. She deserves the highest accolades, for sure.

Also-and just a sobering thought-but for real, we can never, ever, ever sit on our butta and get cozy with our accomplishments-because there are powers that be that would like to undo them and/or completely ignore developing issues. This is why we are here, this is why I'm paddling, this is why Sean is biking, and this is why Cindy and her crew work so hard and burn the midnight oil-because we cannot, we CANNOT go back. We need to stop the insanity of drilling all over the place and we for sure need to stop it here in our own backyard at our own beaches. As Cindy says, we need to "lock in progress, and lock out pollution." Too many municipalities still allow their waste to "end up" in the water, and run-off is a huge issue. Oil drilling off our coasts and LBG terminals to export the gas Americans are ruining their drinking water for is pure insanity-just plain nuts-and something we don't need-just adding insult to injury in the worst way, especially in this highly impacted bit of ocean. Our local economies depend on a healthy ocean. Heck, WE depend on a healthy ocean. Let's save our part of it and hope others follow suit!!

Coastal observations for Friday- fast paddle with wind in my face heading out the Narrows, so slog against current going into Broad Channel/Jamaica Bay. Lotsa people swimming around Cony Island, kinda weird as I paddle upstream from them, water smells like pee-never have I ever smelled that. The water smelled like pee and there were brown flecks-maybe road run-off? No toilet paper, but the unbelievably pungent odor of pee. Totally gross. No way in heck was I gonna jump in that water no matter how hot I was getting as I paddled!! I even saw a floating condom in the water-how gross was that!! (goes with the tampon I saw on the closed beach at Jones Beach yesterday.

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