What "Nature" Looks Like

All around the globe, MPAs, or Marine Protected Areas are places in the ocean where human activity is limited. MPAs work differently in different places. In California, where the whole state lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, the goal of the MPAs is to "conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities." California's important step, to create MPAs, means that many different kinds of creatures have a protected place to live.

Why We Need Wildlife Refuges

When humans move into an area, we like to make sure that it meets our needs for living. We knock down trees to make way for houses and streets. We pave over the grass and dirt to make roads and sidewalks. Humans need places to live, but so do animals. As humans continue to expand our homes, animals like birds and snakes and turtles and foxes have fewer and fewer places to live.

Plastic Soup

What does this look like to you? Does this look like the kind of blue water you expect to find in the middle of the ocean? Do you think water should look cloudy like this? If you look carefully, you can see small bits of plastic suspended in the water. And, you can see a cloud of sediment--tiny bits of plastic that make this water look like plastic soup! Gross, right?

Wisdom: We All Have A Lot to Learn

This is Wisdom. She is a 65-year old albatross. If you do some quick math, think about how old you are, how old your parents are, and how old your grandparents are. Wisdom is probably close in age to your grandparents, which makes her big news pretty awesome. She just became a mom again!

Boo on Balloons!

Once we're done with balloons--especially if we release them into the air--they have to come back down. And they often end up in the ocean. Just like plastic bags, balloons look like jellyfish floating on the surface. So, our ocean friends end up eating them. (Yuck-o!).

I just learned about brinicles for a project I'm working on (more on that later!). Brinicles are icicles that form in the coldest oceans--the Arctic and the Antarctic--under the surface. They are pretty rare: conditions have to be just right including the temperature of the air, the temperature of the water, and the calmness of the sea.

Oyster Monitoring with NY/NJ Baykeepers!

Oyster monitoring is a pretty hands-on activity. We used plastic pipes to help us walk through the mud, nets to collect organisms in the water, plastic tubs to float oyster baskets back to shore, calipers to measure the size of live oysters, oyster baskets (in the water), and pen and paper on shore!

Dinosawesome!

Looking for a little at home fun? Something that doesn't involve t.v., iPads, phones, tablets or screens in general?  (I know, I know, screens are sooo tempting!) Asia Citro has a great book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. As much as I love my tech, I also love putting it away. Most often that happens when I'm underwater or on a hike. But, sometimes declaring a screen free day at home can be fun too!

Some Exciting News!

I'm so excited to announce that I have finally finished my first novel. I wrote "the end" quite a while ago, but those words were just a start as I headed down the path to reworking and revising my draft to make it the very best it can be.