Growing up in New Hampshire and deep sea fishing with my father as a young girl, I developed my love for the ocean at a very early age. I remember being fascinated with everything in the ocean. From whales and dolphins to tiny brittle stars, I was amazed at everything.

As a teenager I became very passionate and learned a lot about our ocean environment. My TV shows of choice were anything I could watch to learn more about the ocean and its inhabitants. In the early 90’s I learned to scuba dive, intensifying my love for the ocean. I have learned how detrimental plastics and styrofoam can be to our environment. The simple fact is that trash is ugly and does not belong in our waters or wilderness. Picking up trash where it didn’t belong just seemed like the right thing to do.

I moved to Florida in 1995 because of my love for everything outdoors. Plants, flowers, trees and everything near and under water. I volunteered for 7 years with the local Sea Turtle programs. Since 2003 I joined CCA Florida and have been involved with protecting and advocating for our local fisheries. Including participating in artificial reef creation, and shoreline restoration projects. I have also participated in hundreds of organized cleanups over the past 12 years. In 2016 we formed Suncoast Aqua Ventures and our Reef & Beach cleanup. Our signature event, a one of a kind competitive trash collecting event with cash and prizes.

I have 2 wishes.

One, is that everyone who sees a piece of trash would pick it up and dispose of it properly. Don’t just walk by it and pretending it isn’t there. If we all do our part to dispose of trash properly and follow simple rules like “carry out what you carry in” our environment would be in much better shape and a prettier place to be for everybody.

And Two, is that everyone make a conscious daily effort to reduce single use plastics usage in the home and in the workplace. Use a reusable coffee cup or drink cups as much as possible. Use reusable grocery bags. And just be aware how much waste each of each of us produces every day. Make an effort to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.