Friday, June 11, 2010

Live BLUE!

Summer is upon us, and it's time many flock to the beach for a little respite. Next time you set up your 'camp' on your favorite beach, take a look at the ocean -- I mean, reeeeeally look at it....the color of the water, the blur of the horizon, and the endless sets of waves --- you can even smell the ocean in the air! It's awesome -- in the truest sense of the word. I was born in Michigan, and grew up summering at a lake. Yes, it was gorgeous, super clean and lots of fun. But it wasn't until I was 8 years old, when we moved to the East Coast, that I saw my first ocean -- the Atlantic. I still remember feeling my eyes opening wide and I was rendered speechless (imagine a quiet 8 year old girl). I couldn't wait to run and jump in!

Years later, I was 'boiled' by a set of waves when I was a gangly 12 year old learning to surf (LOL!) at the Jersey Shore. I was knocked off the board and flew head-first, hitting the sandy, rocky bottom, and helplessly tossing and rolling toward shore (at the wave's discretion), losing my bikini top in the process. I was knocked silly, but was totally humiliated later when I realized the lifeguards came charging down the beach to check on the condition of the blonde mess that washed up on shore, and handed me my top as the crowd looked on. I was reminded of how powerful a force that ocean was every day for about a week or so later, as the cuts and bruises healed. Humbling would be an understatement of the experience.

I have always lived at or on one ocean or another since college, but these days, it's on the Pacific. I go to the beach to walk, run, practice yoga, clear my mind, ease my mind, cry, pray, sing, think, sleep, picnic, party, build fires, reflect and even write --- and I watch the sets of waves, feeling their ebb and flow.

I'm inspired by everything about the ocean. I go and watch the sun come up when I'm visiting back East, and enjoy amazing sunsets when I'm home. Here, I've seen dolphins play, whales surface and little creatures crawl up on the beach. This is their home --- and I see myself as a guest in their world. That said, It breaks my heart when I see trash wash up on shore or people carelessly leave their picnic rubbish and cigarette butts behind in the wake of their 'good time'. Your tax dollars manage beaches, but who's taking care of the ocean?

Recent events in the Gulf have brought worldwide attention to our waters. We wonder what impact the BP spill will have on our future -- economically AND environmentally. Oceana is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans.

June 8th is World's Ocean Day.

Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices in North America, Central America, South America and Europe work together on a limited number of strategic, directed campaigns to achieve measurable outcomes that will help return our oceans to former levels of abundance. They believe in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions. Their scientists work closely with our teams of economists, lawyers and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans.

Oceana's website is chock full of varied and interesting information. Go to:
to learn more about Oceana, and what you can do to live BLUE!

Enjoy a peaceful weekend.

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