Dangers of plastic focus of program

  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Updated Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:10 am

Lloyd Mackall/For South Strand News Chirping Bird Society member Laura Lee, left, talks to Winyah Rivers Foundation assistant riverkeeper Kelly Davis, center, and Sea Turtle Rescue Program director Kelly Thorvalson of the South Carolina Aquarium during an Earth Day event on Tuesday.

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More than 120 people attended an Earth Day event by the Chirping Bird Society and South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts on Tuesday at the Tara Theater in the Litchfield Beach Resort.

Co-Chair Goffinet McLaren of Pawleys Island said she appreciated the talk by Sea Turtle Rescue Program director Kelly Thorvalson of the South Carolina Aquarium.

“We had a surprisingly good turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves enormously,” she said. “The ‘Plastic Paradise’ documentary hopefully will be behavior changing.”

In the documentary, journalist and filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover a mysterious phenomenon, which is ground zero for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the site of the Battle of Midway in World War II.

Sun explained how she met scientists, researchers and volunteers who shed light on the effects of plastic consumption.

“I learned this problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined,” she said. “It is described as one of the most remote places on earth. And yet it’s siphoning plastics from three distant continents.”

Karyn Condon coordinated the appearance of a Plastic Bag Monster played by her son, Max, 10.

Soft toy turtles were sold by Terry Senior of Garden City. Also, books and other items were sold to benefit the Sea Turtle Hospital of Charleston. More than $300 was raised.

McLaren said the heroes of the day were Grace Gifford and her brother, David.

“What a splendid job they did to provide not only delightful food but all served using Zero Waste,” she said. “Hopefully others will see Zero Waste – no plastic products – is well worth the effort.”

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