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Update on The Sea

I posted a piece titled The Sea on June 20. That morning the first item in my inbox was a message from WWF, the World Wildlife Fund announcing that there are 150 metric tons of plastic in the oceans. Every minute a dump truck’s worth of plastics pours in on top of that.

This is more than I can pick up in a walk on the beach.

We mustn’t let this go on but what can we do? You know how Mr. Rogers said when something terrible happens you should look for the helpers? I've been looking for them and I'll share a few with you. I'm sure you've been looking too, and I'd love to hear what you know.

I've been on the WWF mailing list since I adopted a Siberian Tiger in Teddy’s name.

Close up of a Siberian Tiger

He was so beside himself with joy we were sorry to explain that the Tiger would not actually be coming to live in Brooklyn. Teddy got a nice citation and a stuffed tiger and Mr. Tiger got a little help in maintaining his habitat. I checked out WWF on Charity Navigator and they get high marks for finance and transparency. It's a great place for your Christmas shopping.

If you go to the website they give you small steps to take to reduce plastic; it's what we already know; reduce reuse recycle. They also have a letter to the leaders of the world asking them to do something huge and global to save the Earth, like banning single use plastic. You can click on a button and add your name to that effort. If I still haven't persuaded you to pick up plastic on the street, maybe this horrible story will do it. My friend, Catherine's, border collie, Wallace, scarfed up a rice and beans dinner someone left on the street. He also swallowed a plastic fork, which went halfway down tines first and then perforated his stomach wall. Peristalsis, (the throbbing motion that keeps food moving along its route) kept pushing the fork against his belly, but the plastic didn't show up on X-rays. Poor Wallace died in agony. Think about him the next time you see a fork on the street. If his memory makes you pick it up maybe he won't have died in vain. Now let's talk about our little friends, the Bees.

close-up of bumble bee in flight

Photo by Rob Swanson

Did you know that Morgan Freeman has turned his 124 acre Mississippi ranch into a Bee Sanctuary? He imported a bunch of hives and replanted lots of bee-friendly plants. He hand-feeds his bees with sugar water and he doesn't help himself to the honey.

this what he says:

"There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too. As she takes care of the bees, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’ So we have acres and acres of clover, and some stuff like lavender, I've got like, maybe, 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms."

Didn't Mr. Morgan play God in a movie? Sounds to me like he learned something there.

I don't have 124 acres, but I do have a terrace. I've planted geraniums and lavender, and I've had a bee sighting!

We can all do something.

Here's Molly in her new T-shirt that tells us what to do.

Save the Bees yellow T-Shirt

It says, "Save the Bees Plant These; Geraniums, Lavender, Rosemary, Fennel, Thyme, Cornflower, Poppy" Take a look at the The New York Bee Sanctuary

And Trees. The next time you walk on a city street pay attention to the temperature. Feel how much cooler it is under the trees? Then in winter when we could use a little warmth from the sun, the trees considerately drop their leaves. (When Jessie was very little she said oone spring, "Look, the leaves are coming back from where they go in the winter!"

“You can’t go wrong planting trees—when in doubt, plant a tree. If you plant a tree your property values go up higher than the cost of the tree. So it’s all good." That’s a quote from my friend, Roger Leaf, and how appropriate is that?

Barbara Swanson Sherman, Pen & Ink, oak tree in spring

To learn about planting trees in New York City check our the New York Restoration Project NYPR. Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, they've planted a million trees and they're still going strong.

Yes, this is New York centric,but that's where I am. Tell me your favorite cause.

July 26, 2019

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