Archive for June 10th, 2011

June 10, 2011

WOD: Success. Sarah: Not So Much.

Whew, what a week it has been! Our World Oceans Day gamble at cleaning several areas did in fact pay off in the form of many many buckets of trash.  However I have two failures to report: 1) we dunked the camera in the lagoon and electronics and saltwater really don’t mix (sigh!), and 2) I caught a pretty wicked cold.

How anyone manages to catch a cold in a Florida summer baffles me quite a bit but nonetheless, it put some of my posts on the back burner.   For our cleanups we caught/collected/saw:

  • A manatee mother and calf pair
  • Two five gallon buckets worth of monofilament and assorted tackle, nearly all of which we were able to recycle
  • 142 plastic bottles (mostly water bottles)
  • Half a five gallon bucket’s worth of nurdles (gahhhhh!)
  • So many plastic bags I had to stop counting to stave off misanthropic attitudes
  • A dolphin pod in the Lagoon chasing down some delicious jumping mullet
  • Johnson’s seagrass fragments washed in
  • Five flip-flops
  • One cell phone battery
  • And a small assortment of plastic Hawaiian leis

This isn’t the first time we’ve picked up batteries or leis, I hate to say.  Parties on the beach and on the Lagoon seem to feature common luau themes.

The Johnson’s seagrass was another matter entirely.  It was very surprising!  This species is a Florida endemic and is reported in the Lagoon, but almost always from areas far south of us starting at an hour’s drive away at the Sebastian Inlet.  It prefers a steady near-ocean-strength salinity that the upper Lagoon doesn’t usually offer.  Perhaps a pelican brought it with him?  Or maybe there is a patch nearby!

Did anyone get a chance to catch Enric Sala’s address to the Smithsonian Institute on Wednesday night?  If you didn’t of course you can catch him on TED as I posted.  The Smithsonian was up to other tricks for World Oceans Day; definitely take a time out and look at this somewhat-silly “Splash” Mob they hosted in the Hall.

You can tell there’s not a whole lot of organization going on here as you’d find with the typical Flash Mobs, but I love the idea.  Show up to SI, wear some blue, rock out to surf-themed music and don’t be afraid if a giant orange roughey shows up to swim along in the waves next to you.  (I think that’s the artistic angle they were going for in choreography.. waves.  That or they were told to bounce around like a bunch of harpatiicoid copepods do in my plankton tow samples out of the Lagoon!)