How one wine company is rescuing the world’s shores, one beach at a time.
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Barefoot Wine - Beach Rescue

There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our oceans.

That's a STAGGERING amount.

269,000 tons of that debris floats on the surface of the water, while the rest pollutes the ocean depths, according to National Geographic.


How did it all get there? Well, about half of it comes from land, washed out to sea from storm drains or waterways, sent into the water by poorly managed waste facilities, or left on the beach by beachgoers.

Luckily, caring people across the world are coming together to keep our beaches clean and take beach waste out of the water. Check it out!

What an incredible way to do something meaningful for Mother Nature and have fun in the process! In fact, beach cleanups and feeling good go more hand-in-hand than we might think.

All images via Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.

Cleaning beaches can actually be more fulfilling than just walking on them.

In a 2010 study published in Environment and Behaviour, scientists examined the behavior of volunteers as they engaged in different beach activities, such as rock pooling or walking along the coast. But when it came to beach cleaning, they noticed a significant spike in participants' well-being, their understanding of the marine environment, and their desire to participate in future beach cleanups.

Which is absolutely awesome! But then again, who doesn't love a day at the beach? It's no wonder that a chance to improve it only makes it that much more special the next time around.

Figuring out how to make caring for our beaches and oceans a habit is a much-needed step in the right direction.

"There is no one answer to solving the problem of marine litter, but the public are absolutely key — we all use plastics in our everyday lives so small changes in behavior by a lot of people can have a huge effect," Richard Thompson, professor of marine biology at Plymouth University and an expert on marine litter, told Phys.org.

"The challenge is to reverse some 60 years of training for the throwaway society we live in today, lessening the environmental and societal impacts of marine litter, and initiatives such as beach cleans can play a big role in increasing awareness of the problems and potential solutions."

The challenge to get rid of marine waste may be daunting, but together, we can do amazing things.

No doubt it'll take time.

But there's an old Chinese proverb that says, "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping."

And beach cleanups are a small but important step.

If people around the world have that same mindset in the journey toward cleaner shores, we may meet our goal sooner rather than later.

How can you help? Celebrate World Beach Rescue Day (WBRD) on July 9, 2016.

It's part of a project of Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and the Surfrider Foundation called Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project. Together, they've been cleaning beaches around the world for years. For their 10th anniversary, they decided to start WBRD and do something a little special.

Different countries will be holding different beach cleanups simultaneously with the single goal of improving the conditions of their shores.

Since the project's inception 10 years ago, the beach-cleaning effort has expanded to more than 14 countries around the world with 14,000 volunteers who have collected more than 20 tons of trash from beaches.

This year, they're encouraging people to do their part and “Leave Only Footprints.”

And, of course, have some fun with it.

Don't worry! Volunteers will be given everything they need: reusable bags, gloves, and ... wine?

That's right! WINE! Once the cleaning is completed, everyone will be able to kick back with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and enjoy some delicious food courtesy of the Surfrider Foundation.

A sunny day at the beach. Improving the environment. Celebrating with a glass of wine. How can you not keep coming back?

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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