The sea, the surf, the Dark Chocolate Mint Smoothie . . . I must be thinking of New Hampshire! Okay, so New Hampshire doesn’t have much coast line, but it does have an amazing marine wildlife conservatory and that’s where I decided to go as I tour the United States.
The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation is known for its dedication to protecting marine mammals through education, conservation, and research. I went to visit my friend Richard there. Richard is a conservationist who leads some of the most fun beach cleanups around. I was going with Richard to clean up Cape Neddick Beach, which is actually in Maine. As close neighbors, New Hampshire and Maine work together to keep their beaches clean and safe for people and animals.
Richard and I got together with a group of kids and adults. Richard announced that after we were done with the cleanup everybody would get a Dark Chocolate Mint Smoothie as a reward! I was excited to share this delicious treat with my new friends, but I was even more excited to create a different kind of treat for the animals that live on the beach. It can be quite the treat to come home to a clean house, especially when you didn’t have to clean it.
It was a warm day, the wind was blowing, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This was going to be the perfect day for a beach cleanup. We divided into teams of two and fanned out across the beach. Richard and I picked the section furthest away and made out way there. I was surprised at the amount of litter strewn across the ground. The weather was nice, but certainly not nice enough for people to be out on the beach.
“Sometimes birds carry litter, or it gets stuck on their feet, and falls off,” Richard said, practically reading my mind.
“That’s so sad,” I said, “It’s too bad more organizations can’t do beach cleanups.”
“Well, they do. But it’s hard to combat all the littering,” Richard replied.
Two hours passed and the beach looked a lot better. We all loaded back onto the Marine Conservation bus to drive back to where we started.
“Don’t forget,” Richard said to the group, “Each of us can make a difference where we live. We want to make the planet a great place for everyone.”
I walked around the bus, passing out Dark Chocolate Mint Smoothies as a reward. I was grateful that I had done my part to making our planet a better place.
*Note: To find a beach cleanup near you go to the Ocean Conservancy website.