We spent this overcast, grey sky morning at Coquina Beach, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, cleaning up.While walking on a shoreline like this you can't help but feel removed from the world. You don't encounter very many people. It's just you and the ocean. There's a lot of time to think. When you look out and focus on the ocean you physically may feel small, but then you think about how big your impact is (negative or positive). It's mind blowing. That one water bottle or straw you used for 20 minutes 5 years ago and tossed in the trash can or fell out of your car, could very well be in the stomach of one of the dead albatrosses on the beach or being picked up off a sea shore in California.
Being the founder and leader of the UNCW Plastic Ocean Project, I've seen this group grow from 5 students to 80 in a matter of months. It's a small group of students who are so passionate and full of so much love for our oceans, I see first hand how impactful and important every single person is in this movement. We are all a piece of the puzzle, each as important as the other.
It's inspiring to watch a person (friend, colleague, family member) realize the change they can make for the ocean and jump head first into the solution. This group dropped their spring break party plans to make a change and start a movement for our oceans in the OBX. A few of them new to the UNCW Plastic Ocean Project, some new to the Hope Spot: Hatteras movement. This week has not been easy. The days have been long and tiring. But to watch this group at their most exhausted state, look out at the ocean and remember what we're working so hard to protect only to keep going, giving it their all;
that's what gives me hope