Margo Pellegrino, a Blue Frontier Seaweed Rebel, is a stay-at-home mother who does a lousy job of staying at home. Fortunately she has a very supportive husband, patient kids, and a very saintly mother making up her core support team.
Prior to having children, Margo kept freshwater aquariums and successfully bred quite a few species Malawian and Tanganyikan cichlids. It was in the keeping of multiple tanks that she realized that, like a fish tank, our blue watery planet is very much a “closed system,” just on a way way larger scale. Our ocean planet depends on the hydrologic system to provide the “clean water changes” one must do manually when keeping fish in aquaria. If you are lazy with your water changes, especially if you have a fish population explosion or overfeed your fish, your run a real risk of jeopardizing your water quality and your fish as well. This realization prompted her to act, for the sake of her children and future generations. People need to know how our land-based selves are directly and negatively impacting our freshwater and ocean resources by what we do within our respective watersheds, and she vowed to do whatever she could to educate people about how we threaten our watery resources without even being aware we are doing so.
Since 2007 she has paddled the coasts of the US in partnership with various environmental nonprofits to highlight the problems challenging our ocean, a resource on which the world depends for oxygen, food, weather, and well-being. Our ocean resources are an important economic driver for our national, and in fact global, economy. Margo is currently a project of the Blue Frontier Campaign.
TheBigApple2TheBigEasy will be Margo’s sixth and seventh long adventure, not including a little jaunt around NJ she did last year. In the month of August, 2014, Margo paddled from Trenton to Newark to highlight this state’s water resources and the problems within them. This year she will head from New York City to Chicago and in 2016 she will paddle down the Mississippi to New Orleans to highlight the upstream impacts on our ocean downstream.
Previous partners on “paddles for the ocean” include the East Coast Chapters of Surfrider Foundation, National Resources Defense Council, Gulf Restoration Network, NJ’s own Clean Ocean Action, the Sierra Club on their “Beyond Coal” campaign, and Environment NJ. Some of her favorite padding events include NYO’s Liberty Challenge , SEApaddleNYC, and Philadelphia Outrigger Canoe Club’s Hoe Wa’a in Atlantic City.
Read more about my current adventure, About NYC2CHI, which is the 2015 leg of Big Apple to the Big Easy.