Wildlife and the Environment

What If?

What if the things that made our lives easier—plastic wrap, Ziploc bags, disposable forks and diapers, milk jugs, shampoo bottles—simply vanished once they were no longer needed? What if when someone tossed an empty McDonald’s bag or Powerade bottle out of their car window it became a beautiful flower instead of a dingy eyesore? What if concrete, asphalt, strip malls, and big box stores absorbed carbon dioxide and emitted clean, daisy-fresh air? If these things happened, we wouldn’t need Earth Day.  We all know one day is not enough to make up for 364 of abuse. But it is a start. And it is an important start. And if you make the effort, we want to award you. Post a photo to our Facebook page or Instagram account of you participating in a clean up

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My Favorite Holiday…

My favorite holiday is just around the corner. Not Thanksgiving, definitely not Christmas. It’s #OptOutside! Technically it’s not a holiday; it’s a movement - literally and figuratively! In case you’ve never heard of #OptOutside, in 2015 the outdoor gear store, REI, made the decision to close on Black Friday (that nightmarish quasi-holiday that turns people into paycheck-blowing, spending-frenzied, zombie-beasts) so that their employees could have the day to play - outside. A pretty gutsy move for a retail store. “The best data we have says that, in any given year, 150 million Americans don’t spend any time outside. That’s half the country. Day in, day out, we’re looking down instead of up, looking at our phones instead of the world around us,’” says REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “We’re asking people this year to reevaluate that

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Waaaaater Anyone?

Like everyone else these days we are trying to break our addiction to plastic. We now use 100% recycled paper bags for our merchandise instead of plastic bags. We only sell sodas in cans. We provide filtered water to refill your water bottles. But our biggest dilemma in the battle against plastic has always been single-use bottled water. On hot summer days people need to drink water. Staying hydrated is extremely important. We have to have bottled water available. Finally, we found a great alternative! Bottled water in resealable, aluminum cans!! The company is called Green Sheep Water. Why is aluminum so much better than plastic? Aluminum is completely and infinitely recyclable. Aluminum is recycled worldwide – in many places it is actually incentivized. And it has a much higher rate of being recycled than

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A Straw for a Sailing Lesson?

We've all seen the photos—in the middle of pristine, blue oceans a Delaware-sized island of floating garbage, sea turtles munching on plastic bags, dead marine mammals with stomachs full of plastic. It breaks your heart. We all use plastics—it's almost impossible not to. So we are all guilty of the crime. But we CAN do better! Like everything that's worthwhile, it is not easy to give up plastics. You have to haul your reusable grocery and produce bags to the supermarket and then deal with the stink-eye from the bagger. Or, even though you're already late you have to dig around your cabinet for your reusable water bottle, never finding the correct lid. Then you run out during the day so you have to refill it from the faucet with chlorine-flavored water. And the worst—your

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Wanted: Volunteers!

We want to reward you for doing good! If you volunteer during the month of April doing something good for the environment (picking up trash, planting trees, planting beach grass, letter to the editor, raising awareness, etc.) come in after 1:00 pm on any day through July 22, 2018, show us proof of you volunteering (can be a photo, article, etc.), and we'll give you 50% off any on-site kayak or paddleboard rental. (Not good with any other offer. Offer expires 7/22/2018. Only good on rentals starting after 1:00 pm. Only good on kayaks and paddleboards rented on-site.) Looking for volunteering opportunities in our area? Here are a few places to start: Fenwick Earth Day Cleanup - 4/21/18 9:00 AM The Town of Fenwick Island Environmental Committee is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Earth Day Clean-up

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Tough Way to Catch a Meal!

One of the birds we have been seeing more this summer than in the past is the Black Skimmer. The skimmer is in the tern family and has some very unique traits. First of all it is the only bird in North America to have a larger lower mandible than upper mandible. The skimmer uses this trait to catch fish by skimming the surface of the water while dragging it's lower mandible in the water. If it senses a fish it will snap shut it's upper bill catching the prey. The skimmer's lower mandible grows much faster than the upper to make up for the constant friction placed on it while skimming. The lower mandible is also hinged so that if hits something solid it can bend back without causing any harm. Skimmers, like many

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Sunscreen: A Hazard to Horseshoe Crabs

You might want to think twice about lathering up with just any old SPF sunscreen when you head to the beach this year. According to an article written  in The News Journal by Molly Murray back in March, common sunscreens that contain a chemical called oxybenzone may be responsible for lowered numbers of horseshoe crabs in the Delmarva region. Murray interviewed Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment, who has been studying the effects of oxybenzone on horseshoe crab eggs and larvae, and the results were obvious. According to Murray's article, the larvae that were exposed to a seawater-sunscreen solution "became sluggish and barely moved while the crabs in regular sea water were much more active." Dixson reported that during trials, the sunscreen had a

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2016 in the Slipstream

Was it just a couple of months ago now that the days were long and warm and we were all wearing shorts and sandals?? As the days get shorter and darker, here are a few photos to help you through the worst of it. We'll see you on the other side!    

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Rise Above Plastic!

Rise Above Plastics We're following in the footsteps of the Surfrider Foundation in its efforts to Rise Above Plastics! Our 26 oz. stainless steel reusable water bottles just arrived along with a gravity filter to provide you with filtered water to cut down on plastic waste. Purchase a water bottle from us or bring your own reusable bottle to refill and help us and the Surfrider Foundation save our oceans and the planet! The problem: Plastics don't biodegrade, they photodegrade meaning that they never go away. The pieces just get smaller and smaller. When these small pieces end up in the ocean, marine life often mistake them for food, many times with fatal results. More RAP facts: (taken from surfrider.org) The amount of plastic produced from 2000 - 2010 exceeds the amount produced during the

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Trip Report – Topock Gorge, Arizona

In early February I had the opportunity to paddle through Topock Gorge on the Colorado River just north of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The Colorado in this area is crystal clear Caribbean blue, deep, and cold. It still seems wild at this point, although all of the pipelines and gauges and pumps at the launch site near I-40 told me a different story. Soon though, all of the highway noises vanished and the heavy silence of the desert was all I could hear. The thing about paddling in the desert that I don't think I'll ever get over is the shock of that much liquid flowing through the heart of so much arid land. The color of the cliffs and rocks is amazing and changes as abruptly as the weather in Delaware. Some of the

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