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Dirty Waters

Trenton to Chicago via Eco-Outrigger

GB_0814_DirtyWaterMargo Pellegrino, a homemaker, mother of two and healthy oceans advocate from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, will begin a 1,600-mile journey from nearby Trenton to Chicago, Illinois, by outrigger canoe on August 13 as part of Blue Frontier Campaign’s ocean explorers project. During her two-month trip she’ll meet with local environmental groups and the media to raise awareness of the urgent need to clean America’s waterways.

“All water and everything in it ends up in the ocean,” Pellegrino says “Plastics and chemicals are particular problems, but soil runoff during floods or heavy rains impact the ocean and marine life.” During previous paddles, Pellegrino saw firsthand the effects of dumped industrial waste in the waterways she traversed. She note that nationally, oil rig operators have federal permits to dump 9 billion gallons of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, waste into the ocean each year.

On Pellegrino’s first trip in 2007, she paddled nearly 2,000 miles up the Atlantic Coast, from Miami, Florida, to Maine. In 2009, she partnered with Natural Resources Defense Council to go from Miami to New Orleans, Louisiana, to build support for a Healthy Oceans Act (OnEarth.org/author/healthyoceanspaddle). In 2010, she canoed along the Pacific coastline from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California. Next summer, Pellegrino plans to paddle down the Mississippi River.

Follow her upcoming trip at Miami2Maine.com or on Facebook.

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