Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marine Conservation - What You Can Do

Marine Conservation - What You Can Do
reprinted from The Nature Conservancy

Oceans need our help to stay healthy. And no matter where you live, you need healthy oceans to support your daily life – air to breathe, food to eat, places to work and play. With your support, we can change the course for our oceans and coasts and the people who depend on them. Even small changes can make a difference. Here's how you can help:
  1. Reduce your plastic consumption. The most frequently collected items during beach cleanups are made of plastic — think reusable shopping bags, water bottles and utensils.
  2. Make informed seafood choices. Keep a copy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide in your wallet or text Blue Ocean’s FishPhone to help you choose sustainable seafood at the grocery store or a restaurant.
  3. Dispose of chemicals properly. Never pour chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil or paint into the drain or toilets. Check with your county’s household hazardous waste program to properly dispose of or recycle chemicals and keep them out of rivers and oceans.
  4. Choose green detergents and household cleaners—or make your own! Besides being better for your own health, these products are safer for the environment since what goes down the drain can end up in our oceans.
  5. Get the dirt on your beachside retreat. Before you stay in a hotel on the coast, ask staff what happens to their sewage and swimming pool water, and if they source their restaurant fish from sustainable sources.
  6. Find out the source of your food. Buying local, organic food reduces your carbon footprint, supports the local economy and reduces the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that end up not just in your stomach, but as run-off in rivers and oceans, too.
  7. Fill your yard with native species. Reducing the amount of grass in your lawn by planting native shrubs and flower beds will provide a better habitat for birds and other wildlife and require far less water and fertilizer, which can seep into the oceans.
  8. Keep your beach visit clean. When visiting the beach, stay off fragile sand dunes, take your trash with you and leave plants, birds and wildlife for everyone to enjoy. Learn how to spot a healthy beach. or find a Conservancy coastal preserve near you.
  9. Choose alternatives to coral. Whether shopping for jewelry, household d├ęcor or accessories for your fish tank, do your part to leave fragile coral reef habitats untouched by buying products that aren’t made of real coral.
  10. Celebrate our oceans. Whether you live inland or on the coast, we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to organize or participate in activities that restore and celebrate the ocean, and help support The Nature Conservancy’s ocean conservation work.

    1. Donate online now to support The Nature Conservancy’s work to protect and restore marine habitats in your area and around the world.
    2. Rescue a Reef to help protect some of the most threatened corals in the world.
    3. Sign up for the Conservancy’s Great Places Network, a free online membership program, to learn more about what the Conservancy is doing in your state and around the globe.
    4. Test your oceans knowledge with our online quiz.
    5. Send an ocean e-card to friends and family.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Next "The Bay Gull" Children's Book ALL about the Gulf of Mexico

In March, we took a whirlwind tour through RI and CT, visiting over 1,000 children in 5 days. Our goal for the trip was to reach out to schools, sharing the story and stressing education about our environment, while helping to raise money for the schools through book sales. All of the presentations were so fun, the kids (as always!) were amazing - we love it when they think the bagel is a donut! - and we raised nearly $1,000 for their schools.

There was a VERY cute preschool in Coventry where nearly 90% of the parents purchased books for their children! Now those are some supportive parents!! Although the first The Bay Gull is set in Rhode Island, our trip confirmed the story's appeal outside of the Ocean State. Only one of the days of our trip was in Connecticut and the 2 schools we visited there raised more money for their educational programs than all of our other stops combined.

Well, we knew that even people in the desert like a good book about the ocean but we still would love to see many more books about other beautiful coastal areas. Since our trip, we have been slowly but surely preparing our next 2 books, one about San Diego and the other about the Chesapeake area. Researching coastal areas can be a nightmare as there are so many sites to navigate through. Finding relevant information that we can use for the books can take lots of time.

One place that is easy to find information about right now is the Gulf of Mexico and because of that, we are putting the other books on hold to focus on creating a great Bay Gull book for the Louisiana area. Neither of us have been there but with all the publicity, we have been finding resources that can help with the Bay Gull's travels fairly easily. A pre-order form is up on our website, feel free to add your name to our mailing list and send along any comments about our new book.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

View entry - Create Your Opportunity Contest

View entry - Create Your Opportunity Contest

We have entered a contest for the opportunity to expand The Bay Gull's reach all across the U.S. Will you help us win by checking out the entry and voting for our idea?? We appreciate you!!

UPDATE ON 6/15/10
The contest entry period has closed. The judges will be determining from the entries who will win the grand prize from the contest. Thank you all for your support! We appreciate your votes & your prayers! Stay tuned for an update.....