My experience with the Plastic Ocean Projects mission to spread the word about the Hope Spot: Hatteras was both informational and inspiring. Everywhere we went people seemed to be interested in the message on our shirts ('Put It on The Map') and were elated to learn of POP's mission. One woman, working at a coffee shop, particularly stands out in my mind because she was all smiles and very interested and enthusiastic to learn more. She was very happy to see young people taking an interest in protecting the environment. She wasn't the only one either.
As we cleaned along the highway people beeped in praise and recognition of our efforts. We found so much trash along that road in such a short time. It really show's what a little activism can do. It wasn't all work though.
We visited some really cool historical places including Roanoke Island, various light houses and glimpsed the Wright Brothers National Memorial. All along the way we brought reusable bags and picked up trash. It made cleaning up the environment fun and enjoyable. Most people probably don't think of a good time when the idea of picking up trash comes to mind but when you're out in nature on a beautiful day with good company; leaving the world a little cleaner only adds to the experience.
This was one of the best trips I've ever had the opportunity of going on and I would highly recommend it to anyone and hope I get another opportunity like it again soon. From good surfing to remarkable historical sites to beautiful sunsets in even more beautiful natural settings the Outer Banks has it all. Good restaurants, great food, a friendly community, the list could go on an on...
To top it all off the Outer Banks is home to a vital natural habitat where a diverse range of species rely on an upwelling of nutrients from 3 converging currents.
A natural focal point from which life spills out into the ocean; this hope spot is critical in sustaining a large population of biodiversity that is not only critical for the interconnected web of life in the ocean but to the surrounding communities that rely heavily on the fishing industry.
Sam Athey and the Plastic Ocean Project are doing great things in the way of conservation. Through community outreach, public activism and taking the initiative to make changes in their own and surrounding communities this organization is truly inspiring. I am grateful to see a rising awareness of environmental responsibility and a passionate group of individuals determined to make changes for a brighter and cleaner future. Thank you for all that you do Sam, POP and environmental activists everywhere.