A long paddle: Canoeist seeks to raise ocean awareness with 3,500-mile trek

Josh Jackson/The Times-Standard
Posted: 08/10/2010 01:15:31 AM PDT

Margo Pellegrino arrived in Eureka Monday afternoon after paddling from Crescent City in her 21-foot carbon-fiber outrigger canoe as a part of her 3,500-mile paddle from Seattle to San Diego.

Pellegrino is making the trip to raise awareness about the plight of the ocean.

”Number one on my hit list is fish farms,” Pellegrino said, “also the growing and scary plastic problem.”

Pellegrino mentioned spotting a large amount of plastic in the coastal waters, and more that had washed ashore along the entire coast.

During her trip into Humboldt Bay, the United States Coast Guard helicopter gave Pellegrino a salutary circle, which was a welcome greeting. The paddle from Crescent City was uneventful and saw several kayakers join Pellegrino during her departure.

”You couldn’t ask for better conditions,” she said of the weather, as the entrance to Humboldt Bay had only gentle rolling waves, and the outgoing tide gave little trouble as she paddled against the current.

The message of her paddle was clear: Save the ocean.

”Everyone can take action,” Pellegrino said. “Seek out a local organization, talk to your elected officials, especially your congressmen.

”No one’s going to bail out the ocean,” Pellegrino continued, referring to government bailouts of automotive corporations. She also recommended a bit of reading: Jim Toomey’s “50 Ways to Save the Ocean.”

The next stop on the 3,500-mile journey is the Lost Coast, where Pellegrino will stop overnight at the campground on the mouth of the Mattole River tonight.

Josh Jackson can be reached at 441-0535 or photo@times-standard.com

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