Friday, October 22, 2010

The Greener way to a Cleaner Boat

With colder waters moving in many are preparing their boats for hibernation during the winter months. It is suggested that each year boaters power wash and repaint their boats to reduce the amount of algae, barnacles, and other marine life that settle on the bottom of the vessel causing a reduction in fuel efficiency. Although this yearly duty is necessary, it is extremely harmful to the environment. Power-washing a boat not only removes the barnacles and algae, it also removes the old anti-fouling paint, which contains heavy metals including copper that are highly toxic to marine life. The water that drains from the boat during the power-washing process often drains into waterways and other properties. To help reduce the toxic drainage caused from this necessary process, one Wilmington based company has created a system to treat the wastewater and remove the heavy metals.

Clean Marine Solutions developed the Vanish 300 Marina Power Wash Wastewater Treatment and Recycle System, which helps reduce the amount of toxic materials being drained into our waterways and other bodies of water. The company began producing this machine after they received an $84,600 North Carolina Green Business Fund grant. The machine can be purchased by marinas and businesses in the area where boaters bring their vessels to be cleaned.

Currently, Specialty Boat Works in Wilmington is one of the only companies to own the Vanish 300. The business collects the wastewater on a pad and then pumps it into the Vanish 300. The chemicals in the machine break away the heavy metals, which sink to the bottom of the tank and are removed and sent to the landfill. Water that is polluted with copper from power washing is 69,000 times higher than what the federal Clean Water Act allows, with the Vanish 300 this number is reduced down to normally levels. So next time you go to clean your boat, make the green choice!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Return of Trick or Treat Under the Sea

Looking for somewhere to have a spppooo-tacular time for Halloween? Search no further, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher has just the event for you! The Aquarium will be hosting their most popular event of the year, Trick or Treat Under the Sea on Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28 from 5:30pm - 8pm.

Trick or Treat Under the Sea offers fun for the whole family! Dress up in costume (no masks for adults, please), rake in the candy and play games with prizes. Enjoy face painting, story-telling, two magic shows per night entitled “Pirates Have Problems” by No Sleeves Magic Camp and haunted gardens. Spooky divers will be haunting the big tank throughout the night!

This year the classrooms will be submarine/deep ocean themed. Visitors can join the Fresh Water Wonders “crew” to play games and win prizes before they dive deep into the ocean. Glow-in-the-dark jellies and other deep sea creatures will be there to hand out treats. This family-friendly room offers a few special tricks and a chance to visit the deep blue sea!

At the end of your experience you will be offered the chance to take the path of ‘scaredom’ through the Haunted Gardens where creatures of the night are waiting to frighten you one last time. An alternative route is also available for families who choose not to take the haunted path.

Tickets are $6 each and 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 910-458-8257 ext. 238 or at the door the night of the event. Umbrella strollers only. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Be green and bring your own trick-or-treat bag!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Conserving Coral

Coral reefs are one of the many beauties of the Earth, yet they have been drastically depleted over the years in order to create coral based jewelry and home d├ęcor. Coral, which provides homes for fishes as well as provides medicinal compounds that are lifesaving, are fighting to remain healthy and plentiful. A long-term survival campaign has been created by a group of scientists, jewelers, and ocean conservationists who are dedicated to protecting coral. SeaWeb, an ocean-conservation group has created “Too Precious to Wear”, a campaign theme devoted to decreasing the coral trade. Environmental advocate and filmmaker Celine Cousteau places her focus and voice on promoting the benefits of conserving these precious animals. Jewelers such as, Temple St. Clair and Michael Kowalski abide by a “no coral” policy when it comes to their jewelry making. Scientists are working to find ways for coral to thrive and grow with global climate change and our growing ecological footprint. All of these people are fighting to save coral because our oceans are so valuable and we must help sustain the web of life that occurs within it.