Hey folks. How goes it with you? Better than me I hope. No, I’m not in the hospital again. I wish that was it. No, I’ve got the unfortunate news to report that the ocean has lost one of its favorite sons. My good friend and sometime mentor Bill Popplewell has left town for good. Loved by all and a doer of good deeds, Bill will not tell me fishing yarns anymore.
However, life does go on, doesn’t it? And I for one will always remember his love of fishing and the sea. One big thing folks who knew him well will tell you, he respected the water much as he enjoyed it. As we all should. Oh yeah, he did indulge in improper conduct sometimes, but as Jesus said, “Let him amongst you that is without sin cast the first stone.” Let Bill be an inspiration and really think about the only planet we possess.
You might remember how I advised our new governor to jump behind ocean-fueled energy and whatnot. Well, I guess she listened, God bless her, as I noticed she’s all for the floating wind turbine project the folks up at UMaine are workin’ on. Thanks for lending an ear, Guv! Knew you had it in you. And they said it couldn’t be done! Goddamn naysayers piss a guy off, don’t you agree?
“Now, how do we help?” you may ask. I’m here to tell you how. I implore you to do this at all costs. Go to 4ocean.com. Boy, oh boy. First you’ll find many facts that are certain to send you back a step or two. There’s approximately 116 pounds of trash getting heaved into the ocean every second? What on earth are we doing?
Do you know there’s a veritable island in the Pacific Ocean made completely of plastic rubbish? It’s a goddamn navigation hazard! Yeah, somethin’ about the way the currents work, sweeps the plastic debris into this big ol’ garbage heap. And you were thinking sharks were the menace of the ocean?
Thank goodness there are a multitude of outfits like this 4Ocean. They sell stuff too. Pretty neat shit, I do say. A nifty bracelet you might consider, made out of refuse. You’d be surprised how good they can make rubbish look. Or a bag, also made from recycled trash, that you can use to clean up more litter. It’s a real good cause, the dough goes to cleaning things up, and the kicker is you may look nice and sexy. Check ’em out.
There’s another outfit goes by the moniker Surfrider Foundation, another good cause where a bunch of folks are tryin’ to save the ocean from ourselves.
You up for making a list? Well, you got the Ocean Conservancy, with their doctrine of protecting the coastline, restoring the fisheries (I love that one), reducing the human impact and all that good shit. They enjoy bringing together volunteers — you could keep that in mind. But hold on, there’s more.
Next up is Save the Whales. They deal in whale artwork and jewelry and books and t-shirts and tote bags and such. Sorry, I got no catalog, but their site claims — honestly, I believe — that a large part of their accumulated moolah goes to their work. Then you got Surfers Against Sewage. They’re over in the UK, but if you think about it, it’s all one big ocean, so what they do still affects us, right?
So, one more I definitely gotta let you know about is Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. As you well expect, they help dolphins, but what gives them notoriety is it was started by the fella who trained Flipper. Remember him? If you don’t, ask. Ric got real upset over how they were treating the dolphins and decided to do something about it. Simply marvy, ain’t it?
Then you got groups like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd. Jesus, these folks are insane! I believe I’ll do a whole column on those fuckers someday. Talk about “active conservationism” — they wrote the book.
And the last one I’m going to carry on about, which is actually my fave, is something called Take 3, based in Australia. I love these guys. They advocate that every time you go to the ocean or lake or whatever body of water, that you fetch and dispose of three articles of debris and dispose of them properly — “Take 3 for the Sea,” as they say. Pretty sound advice, because anyone can do it. You don’t have to buy a bracelet, you can be the poorest motherfucker in the world and you can still pitch in to do the right thing.
Like I’ve said a thousand times, it’s the only planet we got. And now you got no excuse.