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Sunday, May 19, 2024


Activist Practices for Seattle to San Diego Canoe Trek


By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY — Margo Pellegrino paddled out of Cape May Harbor, in her outrigger canoe, near the Nature Center around 9 a.m. on May 22 headed for Sandy Hook and beyond.
This was a practice run for a paddling trip from Seattle to San Diego. Pellegrino will begin her trip along the Pacific Coast on July 3 and plans to complete the trip in late August.
“I like to describe myself as a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t do a very good job at staying home. But it’s really only about two months of the year where I am typically away,” she said.
In each of the past three years, Pellegrino, a Medford Lakes resident, has undertaken similar paddling voyages in an outrigger canoe having journeyed nearly the entire eastern seaboard and Gulf coast west to New Orleans.
She said the coastal paddling journey is her way to call attention to the need for healthy oceans.
“An effective public education campaign is critical for advancing strong ocean policy. Just look at how climate change policy has been hamstrung by lack of popular support,” said Pellegrino. “We need to ensure that healthy oceans policy is buoyed from what legislators hear from their constituents. As a project of the Blue Frontier Campaign, what I am planning to accomplish is speaking out for the oceans.”
She said she anticipated matching the public exposure of previous paddling journeys, where her message has reached the readership of hundreds of local newspapers and magazines, the viewership over a hundred television and radio news programs, as well as other on-line media. One reason why this method of public outreach has been so effective is because over half the U.S. population (over 130 million people) either lives or works within 25 miles from the coast, said Pellegrino.
She will be part of the “Paddle for a Purpose Kayak Regatta,” sponsored by the Nature Center of Cape May and Aqua Trails Kayak Tours. This two-hour noncompetitive tour of Cape May Harbor and the surrounding salt marsh is designed to benefit the Nature Center of Cape May’s Good Neighbor Fund for Coast Guard families.
The charity event will launch at 1 p.m. on June 19 during Harbor Fest. The registration fee with rental kayak is $40 for a single kayak and $70 for a double. The Family Rate for two double kayaks is $100.
If you plan to bring your own kayak or canoe, the fee is $20 each. The registration fee includes a tee-shirt, water bottle and refreshments. Participants are asked to check in by 12:30 p.m.
Any group that would like to participate and needs kayak rentals can call the nature center to make those arrangements.
Request a registration form from the nature center at (609) 898-8848 or by downloading one from the NCCM website at

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