Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gallaudet Swimmers Go Green

Gallaudet Swim Teams Contribute to Delaware Seashore State Park Clean-up Project

Gallaudet men's and women's swim team recently assisted the Surfrider Foundation in its efforts to clean up Delaware Seashore State Park. The September 7 project was part of Surfrider's successful environmental awareness campaign.

"We are delighted to help Surfrider and local citizens reduce beach litter, promote recycling, and educate about coastal wildlife," said William Snape, the head swim coach at Gallaudet and a lawyer with the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity.

Federally threatened species such as the piping plover benefit from healthy beaches, as do other species protected under the Endangered Species Act, such as the endangered roseate tern, the threatened beach tiger beetle, and the threatened sea beach amaranth, he said. Snape and the Center for Biological Diversity have advocated for the Atlantic piping plover - a migratory sandy-colored bird with yellow-orange legs and a black ring around its neck - and other imperiled species for over a decade.

The Endangered Species Act is an important tool in protecting declining beach wildlife, particularly now, as global warming increases the chances of beach erosion, acidifies the ocean water, and changes the composition of coastal ecosystems. The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches for all people. It has partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity on many endangered species and habitat issues.

"Our team was excited to spend some time in the surf, protecting the beach and catching some waves," said Gallaudet senior Scott Cohen, an avid surfer and conservationist from Hawaii.

Posted: 17 Sep 2008 on http://news.gallaudet.edu/?id=13840

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