When my son was younger I read “The Cleanup of Codfish Cove” to him over and over. When Codfish Cove becomes cluttered with trash, Shamu the whale wants to move far away to where the waters are clean. But Shamu’s friends don’t want to move, so they organize a clean-up effort. And, after they clean up all the trash, all the fish and birds and animals in Codfish Cove live happily ever after, even knowing they will have to pick up trash daily in ongoing efforts to keep their cove clean.
My favorite book
So, I’m making an effort to clean up my “cove”. A few times a week I walk along Pensacola Beach and pick up any trash I see – snorkels and masks, mismatched shoes, fishing line, pieces of balloons, teeny tiny pink bracelet beads fallen from someone’s homemade craft project. All this along with the usual single use plastics; water bottles, straws, plastic grocery bags, and plastic utensils. I also try to hunt down any floating trash I see while out on the water and scoop it up with my crab net.
Not only am I determined to clean up my cove, I’m determined to not contribute to the problem anymore. So, I installed my own “refillable water station” on the boat, a high tech contraption consisting of stainless steel insulated cups, a water filter, and wait for it….. an Igloo water cooler! I just hook up the filter to the water supply and voila! Clean filtered water goes right in!
Refillable Water Station
My plea to you is to start small and clean up your “cove”, even if it’s just one small step at a time. Refuse that straw, bring your own shopping bags, use a refillable water bottle, and the list goes on and on. We’ve all heard about the harmful effects of plastics in our water, now let’s do something about it.

Captain Linda Thompson has sailed up and down the coast of Florida, to and from a number of Caribbean Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, Norway, and the Mediterranean, but loves her home town waters of Pensacola Bay and the surrounding area the most.