Today, for the lighting of the green candle, I’d like all everyone to think BLUE! Do we have a blue candle, Diane? What’s this all about? Well, as you may have probably already guessed, it’s about the health of our oceans.
Personally, I’ve always felt drawn to the ocean. My ancestors were ship builders and sea captains here on the coast of Maine for generations, so I’ve been known to say that I have salt water in my veins. That tie to the ocean persists in my generation as well. As children, my brothers and I spent many wonderful hours playing on the beaches and exploring the tide pools in Cape Elizabeth. My children enjoyed those same pleasures as my grandchildren do now.
Today, I am again and again drawn to the ocean and feel this strong connection. I love it’s beauty and power and ever-changing nature. My parents taught me to love the ocean, but also to respect it. Those are some of the reasons why I feel so strongly about keeping the ocean healthy for both wildlife and people.
On Monday evening, I attended a very informative and comprehensive program at Cumberland Town Hall. It was organized by our town shellfish commissioner, Mike Brown. He had arranged for a presentation by Jami Fitch of the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District. The subject was “Yardscaping”, the earth-friendly way to care for lawns. Some of you may remember that the shellfish beds along the coast of Maine are often closed due to the presence of toxins, and some of these come from those very chemicals that we put on our lawns. This affects not only the shellfish, but other ocean life as well, and of course, the health and economic well-being of our friends and neighbors who make their living in our coastal waters.
By changing typical lawn care practices to greener methods, we can not only have a safer yard for children and pets and all the rest of us, but we can also protect the health of our waterways, and thus the ocean right here in our communities on the coast of Maine.
When you investigate the composition of typical lawn chemicals, here’s what you’d find:
53% contain suspected carcinogens
28% contain known or suspected reproductive toxins
34% contain known or suspected endocrine disrupters
Our grandkids play on our lawn and we certainly don’t want them exposed to these dangerous chemicals. That’s one reason why Ron and I have made the decision not to use chemicals. Is our lawn perfect? No, but it’s green, even if it does contain weeds. Do any of us really want toxic substances on our lawns and subsequently washed into our ocean?
If you would like to learn more about making your yard safer, but still lush and green while at the same time protecting our coastal waters, there will be a repeat of the program that I attended at our Town Hall on Saturday the 14th of May. Please go and learn what you can do to protect your yard, your loved ones, and the magnificent and beautifully blue ocean that is such an important part of life in Maine. Let’s all take good care of Mother Earth, God’s amazing creation.