Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It sort of speaks for its' self. We are supposed to be learning here...evolving... doing a better job. Join the Eco-adventure diving of MCII and help take hold of our environment and get it back on track. Join the thousands of kids who want to have a clean ocean when they grow up...a clean ocean they can take their children to and not catch needles and garbage, but the snooks and groupers we used to catch in droves.

Take some time and help the supporters of MCII to make a difference. We will be working in four counties this year. Cleaning four inlets and 96 miles of the Indian River Lagoon. Our cleanup season starts in just a few weeks. We have big plans... Last year, with the help of 400 volunteers, we reached the magical and unbelievable mark of 300,000 pounds and by years end, we will reach 400,000 pounds maybe even 450,000 pounds. It depends on your help and good weather. We want 500,000 pounds...after all, the world is supposed to end this winter. We don't want it dirty when we check out.

We would need to remove all 16 derelict vesels we have tagged to be removed and clear the three areas of mid to large debris we have identified to reach 500,000 pounds. That will require the help of all our voluteers and then some.

Come out on April 7th to Riverside Ft Pierce between the Ft Pierce Yacht Club and the Backus Gallery to the Oyster Festival and locate our booth....look for the stunning Oyster mascot...that will be Captain Don. He lost a bet, so he will be that adorable Oyster...ask him to see the pearl. He loves that.

Stop by the MCII booth and sign up. Learn about our activities and our upcoming events. Donate a little time on the water and find out why people from all over America are coming to Ft Pierce to learn just how we do what we do...why we do what we do. And just why it is so darned important.


The Staff of MCII

Saturday, February 11, 2012

MCII Volunteer outshines her adult counterparts

Missy, Lilly and Trent Tougas - Six degrees of separation
By Tania Ortega-Cowan

Friday, February 3, 2012

When ocean conservationist Sylvia Earle, TIME Magazine’s first-named “Hero for the Planet” (1998), gave her presentation last September at Juno Beach’s Loggerhead Marine’s Center’s 2011 Go Blue Awards banquet, she included in her visual presentation a photo of a cupcake.

“This might look like a cupcake to you,” she told the crowd, “but this cupcake means hope for the future because Lilly Tougas makes them for the planet and sells them for conservation.”

Missy and Lilly Tougas were finalists for the Blue Ambassador Award at the awards banquet. Sylvia Earle first heard about Lilly through internationally-famous conservation artist Wyland.

Lilly, a friend of Wyland, has spoken to Congress, traveled to China, raised funds to bring Wyland’s Mobile Learning Center to the Treasure Coast - the list goes on.

Oh! And Lilly is 11 years old.

“I just really always liked the earth and had compassion for everybody for as long as I can remember.” she says confidently.

Lilly’s mother Missy grew up just a mile from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. “As a child I was given a world ocean education, learning about aquaculture and ocean science. It was what we did for fun.”

Missy now volunteers with a number of groups including Ocean Rehab, Marine Clean-up Initiative and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. When Wyland came to Harbor Branch in 2007 for a youth art event, daughter Lilly met him and forged a friendship.

Missy says, “Lilly told him ‘I am with you on this mission!’ He then invited her to Sea World for a project. Next he invited her and only three other children from the United States to Beijing, China for his 100th Whaling Wall Project during the 2008 Olympics. He gave her a medal and said she is a Youth Ambassador for the Planet and told her to go home and take action.”

And so she did.

“You have to encourage children,” she says. “If they have ideas, you need to listen and empower their ideas.”

She decided to open a lemonade stand outside a grocery store, and as she made money, she would go in and buy the reusable grocery bags and then give them to her lemonade customers. Next, she designed art for the bags and sold them to raise money to go to Beijing. Then she started her Cupcakes for the Planet campaign to bring in Wyland’s Mobile Learning Center.

Wyland invited Lilly to Washington DC for a FOCUS event (Forests, Ocean, Climate and Us), a nationwide campaign in partnership with the U.S. Forestry Service, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and the Wyland Foundation. There she spoke in front of Congress.

Lilly’s six-year old brother Trent is also involved. For his birthday party he held a beach clean-up. In fact, the family has organized numerous beach clean-ups including ‘The Mayor’s Beach Cleanups’ all along the Treasure Coast.

Involved with Vero Classical Ballet, Lilly’s new idea is “Dancing for the Planet.” With her connections, she plans to make it an international event.

You go, girl!