I have been on a cleaning rampage since last night and early this morning. There will be no beach cleanup this morning because I had to clean up my own house. Mr. Plastic Picker heard it, for sure. Blending families is always difficult, and even after 20 years the fundamental truth is my family is more preoccupied with cleanliness than his. Perhaps that is why I’m Dr. Plastic Picker? I’m trying to clean up the world’s oceans. But last night and this morning, I had to do a more mundane task – clean up my own house.
There are a lot of environmental advocacy groups out there. Now we started another one, our American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Climate Change and Health Committee for our local chapter. There was a California bill AB 345 the oil and gas setbacks bill. Between the AAP Climate Change and Health coalition of all 4 California chapters, Climate Health NOW (which overlaps with many AAP Climate Change members), PHAC and Climate Action Campagins, and Climate Reality Leadership Group and my just being on the litter-picking Instagram committee – I literally received 20 emails about this. I had already signed a personal letter, and had already sent it to our committee. Our AAP Climate Change and Health local chapter already endorsed it. Bruce Bekkar is writing a letter on behalf of PHAC Climate Action Campaigns. And now we need individual members to lobby specific state representatives about it. And during our Climate Reality Training first local meeting, it came up again. And I get it, this one is important. The elephant in the room is climate emmissions, and this helps reduce emissions. There are a lot of climate groups and a lot of concerned citizens, and we all want the same thing.
Did I ever tell tell you I am our daughter’s Girl Scout Troop Leader? It was never anything that I sought out to do. Our daughter was finishing kindergarten and the moms in our grade wanted to form a school-based troop. There was plenty of interest among other families to form a troop, but as with most things few people wanted to take responsibility. I am the Co-troop leader. The other mother is the driving force behind the troop. I volutneered six years ago to help lead because I wanted this experience for our daughter. I also won’t let her go to sleep overs without me. I am an overprotective mother. So I became a Girl Scout Co-Troop Leader.
It was almost a month since I did any serious litter picking, and the ocean is closed. As you well know, we are still in statewide COVID-19 quarantine. The quarantine is a good thing because we all need to #flattenthecurve. I also was not sure if I was exposing my patients and my family to unnecessary risk if I litter picked. But yesterday I saw a purple single-use disposable glove on the street in front of our neighbor’s house, and that just is not right. I was masked, used gloves and a metal grabber and picked up a small bag of litter. I washed my hands also and showered afterwards. I felt so much better after picking up those few pieces, and am confident I did not catch anything. More importantly, I think I am preventing social unrest because trash like that will push people to the brink. Maybe that is why there are protestors now at various state capitals. I bet you they live on littered streets, but really they should just pick it up. So I will litter pick in the early mornings now with a metal grabber, mask and gloves.
Two Mexican butterfly conservationist have mysteriously died. Mexican conservationist Homero Gómez González was found dead floating in a well at a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the other Raul Hernandez “whose body was found beaten and with a head injury possibly caused by a sharp object . . . was found in the early hours of Saturday, in the Ocampo municipality, about 8km from the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.” https://news.yahoo.com/second-person-linked-butterfly-sanctuary-165733418.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=fb Those are the names of two Mexican butterfly conservationist that are now dead.
Our blog wants to thank all the children who submitted drawings to our first inaugural drawing contest! We had a total of 6 entries. Each entry will been featured in our blog’s instagram/Facebook, paired with different poems or articles. Each child who entered will receive a reusable tote bag per nuclear family member and a certificate. The competition was fierce and drplasticpicker walked around the office and did a straw vote, and the winner is the marker drawing above which is Splash by Daniela, age 11. As promised, the winner which is “Splash” above, will be featured on our blog’s reusable tote bags.
dead on the sandy shore, where drplasticpicker wanders
dead on the shore, where a Surf Rake removes the plastic debris, but also the seaweed that shorebirds need
Marbled Godwits! Whimbrels!! Snowy Egrets!!! where are you? did the Surf Rake “clean” the kelp, “clean” it from the insects and decaying kelp that keep intact the circle of life?
what is “clean?”
will someone “clean” my dead carcass?
already the seagull took the best parts, i am the ocean’s Prometheus
there comes that drplasticpicker again, always looking for her soul and deeper meaning in the waves, and little bits of plastic
dear girl. i am Platyrhinoidis triseriata , Thornback Guitarfish and i am dead.
i return to the Pachi Mamma
Addendum: I sent my poem to Scripps Institution of Oceanography and thanked them for inspiring my original poetry. I will get to meet the communications person there, when I finally return their trawl-line plastic ball that I found one morning on the beach.