Here in M.A. we are blessed to live near the ocean and we enjoy and depend upon it as a gift of food and recreation. That is why the difficult conversation about pollution should be on every residents lips this week. And, of course, one of the biggest culprits of pollution here in M.A. and across the country is single use plastic. It is difficult to change our habits regarding this problem but there is one solution that I think we can all agree on-carrying reusable bags to the grocery store.

Massachusetts has the opportunity to join countries around the world in reducing plastics that pollute our oceans and are ingested by the fish and wildlife that we eat. Join us by taking action and spreading the word about the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill (http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H01990 and http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/Senate/S00353).

If passed, Massachusetts would be the first state in the United States to pass a bill that takes a strong stand and spreads an important message about this crucial topic that effects people around the globe, including all of us right here in Massachusetts.

Take Action:

  1. REFUSE (the fourth “R” of Reuse, Recycle, Reduce) purchasing and using single use plastics
  2. Become a member of W2O by signing up on our website: womenworkingforoceans.org
  3. Write to your legislator and tell her or him how important the Mass. Plastic Bag Reduction is to you and why.

To find your legislator: http://www.malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator and type in your town’s name.

Here is a sample letter for your use:

Dear Representative ,

I am writing to you today in support of Representative Lori Ehlrich’s (Marblehead) initiative of the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H01990 and http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/Senate/S00353

As a constituent of __________, I am increasingly concerned about the amount of single use plastic that clogs our waterways, streams, finally collecting in our oceans, polluting our marine life and ingested by the seafood that we serve our families. As a Massachusetts resident, I am concerned about the impact of single use plastic on our ocean economy of fisheries, tourism, recreational water sports, and ocean transport systems. Like many countries and communities around the world, we can reduce the plastic pollution that ends up in our oceans and food by using reusable non plastic grocery bags. Please support the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill.

Sincerely,

 

Please include your contact details including your address.

 

 

Seems like there are many opportunities to make the right choice regarding Single Use Plastic. REFUSE is the most important part of curbing the habit of choosing single use plastic in our every day lives. Keeping a place holder in our minds about the effect that plastic has on the oceans and on us is the most important step in making a difference. We can’t always make big life changes but we all can take small steps to reducing plastic waste. Choose the ceramic cup over the plastic cup! Every small step counts! Carry a reusable bag to the grocery store and support the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill by going to womenworkingforoceans.org and clicking on the “Take Action” tab for information on writing to your legislator. You can also scan down to the Blog on the Plastic Bag Reduction Bill below on this page. Small steps make a big difference.

Women Working for Oceans (Donna Hazard, chairwoman, pictured left with Legal’s tour guide, Marnie) organized a great tour of Legal Sea Foods in Boston followed by lunch with Legal’s President and CEO Roger Berkowitz, Executive Chef Rich Vellante (pictured below), Seafood Buyer Tom Matthews and Director of Marketing Ida Faber.

The tour at the Legal Sea Foods’ Quality Control Center included a look at the processing plant and the food safety laboratory, giving us a taste of how fish are processed and handled for retail sale at Legal Sea Foods’ 33 restaurants around the US as well as an online fish market and retail product line. Tour guides shared an overview of quality testing in the lab, cleaning, cutting, packaging and shipping. The plant is incredibly clean and streamlined to make sure that the fish doesn’t visit long before being delivered to the restaurants.

Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2012/05/15statusofstocks.htm) saying that “a record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011” including summer flounder and Gulf of Maine haddock. This is good news for the hard work of fishermen and conservationists but New England still has the highest number of species that are considered overfished.

There is still lots of work to be done and W2O encouraged Mr. Berkowitz to continue to search for the best information regarding fish stocks and sustainable aquaculture and to consider increasing his efforts to educate the public about the sustainability of the species on his menu.

FISHING FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On April 29th, the New England Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Program is co-presenting Boston’s first ever Sustainable Seafood Teach-In!  The New England Aquarium is teaming up with the Museum of Science, Chef’s Collaborative, Let’s Talk About Food, and the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment for an all day event as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

The event features keynotes from Paul Greenberg and Barton Seaver, panel discussions with representatives from all parts of the seafood industry, and one-on-one interactions with experts of every kind (including the Aquarium’s own Jason Clermont, Wild-Capture Fisheries Specialist!)

This is going to be a great event for anyone who wants to better understand how the seafood on their plate is affecting the oceans, fishermen and our local seafood economy.

You can see more details, and register for the event, here.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Plastics in the Ocean and in You

To Purchase Tickets, click here!

On April 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theatre Dianna Cohen from Plastics Pollution Coalition (http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/) will be speaking about plastics in the oceans and our lives. This presentation is not to be missed — Dianna is AMAZING and what she has to tell you is important for our children and our planet!
Check out our W2O Facebook page. Be sure to “like” us!!!
Love to all for a very happy holiday season!
Barbara Burgess and Donna Hazard
Co- Founders, W2O

 

 

 

With Dianna Cohen scheduled as the featured speaker for our spring event on April 10th, I’ve been doing some background reading on plastic pollution.  While this article isn’t new, it is a good summary of some of the issues.  Stayed tuned for photographs coming later this week!

Plastic Breaks Down in Ocean, After All — And FastThough ocean-borne plastic trash has a reputation as an indestructible, immortal environmental villain, scientists announced yesterday that some plastics actually decompose rapidly in the ocean. And, the researchers say, that’s not a good thing. The team’s new study is the first to show that degrading plastics are leaching potentially toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A into the seas, possibly threatening ocean animals, and us.

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Greetings W2O Friends!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!   2012 is going to be an exciting year for W2O!
We hope you and your husband or partner can join us for a special Valentine’s Day Dinner.  Space is very limited so please send off your checks to W2O as soon as possible.  (See the attached Save the Date!)
On April 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theatre Dianna Cohen from Plastics Pollution Coalition (http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/) will be speaking about plastics in the oceans and our lives.  This presentation is not to be missed — Dianna is AMAZING and what she has to tell you is important for our children and our planet!
Check out our W2O Facebook page.  Be sure to “like” us!!!
Love to all for a very happy holiday season!
Barbara Burgess and Donna Hazard
Co- Founders, W2O

 

 

Last week, we had the most incredible experience at Aka Bistro in believe-it-or-not Lincoln, MA! We had a chance to talk with the chef/owners, and we were so excited to hear they are completely committed to serving sustainable seafood!  Plus, they are totally committed to serving locally grown produce.  There was a very cool buzz in the room about eating to preserve our environment.  I had mussels steamed in white wine.  We also devoured sauteed rainbow trout amandine.  YUM!   Oh…right and we shared a delicous bottle of wine!  For a suburban restaurant, Aka was cozy and funky– a great space to dine!

Brian Skerry, National Geographic photographer and New England Aquarium Explorer in Residence

 

 

 

Ocean Soul Lecture
Brian Skerry
Thursday, November 17
Book signing at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture in Simons IMAX Theatre at 6:30 p.m.

More information here.

 

 

 

 

 


The Boston Globe hired the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph to test the DNA of fish to determine their species. Search results from individual stores and restaurants. Search your local stores and restaurants here.


On October 4, 2011 – Dartmouth College students in the ENVS 17: Marine Policy class journeyed to the New England Aquarium in order to observe the ecological systems they read about for class and to interact with oceans experts from many different fields. They were lucky to be able to join the group Women Working for the Oceans (W2O) for an IMAX presentation by National Geographic photo-journalist Brian Skerry.

As part of the learning process, students were required to write a short essay on what they learned from the visit related to either oceans ecosystems or sustainable seafood. Their essays along with pictures from the day are posted here.