Friday, January 25, 2013
The Gowanus Dolphin Has a Message for Us
There's a dolphin stuck in New York City's Gowanus Canal as I write. It's making quite a buzz, as it should. Such a wild and beautiful creature brightening up the urban malaise.
The symbolism is a brick to the head. The Gowanus is one of the most polluted sites on EPA's long list of Superfund sites; a testament to how thoroughly people can poison nature. And now it's got ahold of a dolphin.
I'm rooting for the dolphin but wish I didn't have to. Imagine those wilder days, hundreds of years ago, when the sea all around New York City flourished with marine life including whales, dolphins, oysters, and sea turtles.
Back to reality, the situation does not bode well for the Gowanus Dolphin. There is not much that can be done, according to experts from Riverhead who specialize in rescuing marine mammals.
Perhaps the best outcome -- aside from the dolphin swimming freely out of the harbor and into the ocean -- is motivation. Dolphins and marine mammals die all the time from the actions of people. It just doesn't happen in hipster central in a city obsessed with happenings.
If you care about this dolphin, how about all dolphins? How about their home -- the ocean?
It's easy to feel helpless seeing that dolphin in the cold muck with firemen, police officers, and marine experts standing around. But we are not helpless.
There are countless ways to save dolphins and the oceans. Here's 50, courtesy of Blue Frontier.
50 Ways to Save the Ocean
1. Go to the Beach
2. Visit an Aquarium
3. Eat organic and vegetarian foods whenever possible
4. If you chose to eat seafood make sure it’s sustainable
5. Grow a natural yard and garden
6. Maintain an earth (and ocean) friendly Driveway. If that works try a Green Roof.
7. Reduce Toxic Household Pollutants
8. Drive a fuel-efficient car, car pool, or use public transit
9. Don’t use your Storm Drain as a toilet
10. Support Marine Education in our schools
11. Support your local swamp
12. Restore a stream, river or watershed
13. Get Married on a Wild Beach
14. Build or Buy well back from the Beach
15. Upgrade your house above hurricane code
16. When diving – take only pictures, leave only bubbles
17. Count the fish, then do some light housekeeping for them
18. Join in a Beach Cleanup
19. Don’t waste water
20. Save Energy for yourself and the Sea
21. Protect the dunes so they?ll protect you
22. Be a Blue Boater
23. Go slow around Manatees, birds and other boats
24. Go to a Zoning Board Meeting
25. Join a marine mammal rescue center
26. Be a Marine Sanctuary Volunteer
27. Create your own Wilderness Parks under the sea
28. Keep an ocean-friendly Aquarium
29. Don’t dump “exotic” plants and animals
30. Don’t shell out for Sea Turtle products
31. Don’t feed the sharks (or let them feed on you)
32. Go on a whale-watching trip
33. Take your kids to a Tide Pool
34. Take your kids surfing (or have them take you)
35. Use less plastic
36. Fish for fun, food and the future
37. Find out if your cruise ship is ocean friendly
38. Walk on whatever beach you want
39. Learn your local maritime history
40. Get to know a Coastie
41. Don’t buy coral jewelry or (sea) snake oil remedies
42. Be a careful consumer and traveler
43. Talk to your cousin in Kansas about the weather
44. Learn the tides and the navigation charts
45. Join an ocean expedition from your home computer or in person.
46. Keep oil off your shore
47. Buy an ocean-friendly license plate or bake a cookie
48. Find joy and solace in the sea and talk about it in your place of worship
49. Vote the Coast
50. Be a Seaweed Rebel
image: brandon rosenblum
Posted by Mike Misner at 5:25 PM