At a festive send-off event at the Ronald W. Shane Watersports Center in Miami Beach, Pellegrino launched her boat into the surf and officially began her Miami2Maine project. She will paddle almost 2,000 miles in 11 weeks (approximately 40 miles per day) and hopes to reach Camden, Maine in late July. She will make 74 stops along the way to raise awareness about problems related to man’s impact on the oceans and coastal zone such as: pollution, development, habitat destruction, overfishing, aquaculture and beach access.
"The bleak future of our ocean resources cannot wait another century, decade or year," said Margo Pellegrino. "I'm doing this to open the minds and hearts of others to one of the most critical problems the entire world faces – the destruction of our oceans – and encourage them to join me in bringing about positive change. I'm so glad all the preparation is over and I am finally starting," she added.
Pellegrino is not a professional athlete, but she is an environmentally conscious mother and paddling enthusiast who is pushing her physical limits in the hopes that she can show her children how to make a difference in the world and inspire a growing grassroots movement of surfers, paddlers and other ocean enthusiasts to take a more active role in the stewardship of our oceans. Margo is being supported by a network of volunteers and ocean groups including the Surfrider Foundation and the National Environmental Trust.
Miami2Maine will raise money for groups working to solve coastal environmental problems including all East Coast Surfrider Foundation Chapters, Oceana and the Mordecai Island Land Trust.
"We are delighted to see Margo off in style," said Ericka D'Avanzo, Regional Manager of the Surfrider Foundation. "Her endeavor will allow local environmental groups, including Surfrider Foundation chapters, to highlight the local problems they are facing. For example, right here, Miami's South Florida Chapter is immersed in protecting beach access by exposing illegal agreements that restricted the public's right to use State property at Haulover Inlet. The battle against such elitism continues as the general public still has no access. In addition, the chapter is challenging a federal dredging project that is proposing to extinguish one of the last surfing areas in Miami Beach."
Margo's journey will be tracked online at www.Miami2Maine.com using maps with her GPS coordinates and daily blogs featuring anecdotes from her journey along with pictures and video clips that she will upload remotely.
"Miami2Maine comes on the heels of several recent scientific studies that show how overfishing and mismanagement of our ocean resources have decimated our wild fish populations," said Martha Collins, Florida organizer, National Environmental Trust. "Right now, the federal government is in the process of ending overfishing. We need to make sure they do."
ABOUT SURFRIDER FOUNDATION
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection of our world's oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 64 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, with international affiliates in Australia, Europe, Japan and Brazil. For more information, visit www.surfrider.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST
The National Environmental Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 1994 to inform citizens about environmental problems and how they affect our health and quality of life. For more information, visit www.net.org.