Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Living Green: Kayaker removes waste, leaving only wake

From her kayak, Mary Meyers plucks an egret feather from a cluster of mangroves and tucks it into the bandanna tied around her forehead. She's 75. Everyone calls her Grandma Rambo.

On this cloudy, humid evening, she's armed with garbage bags and surrounded by other good deed-doers, plucking trash from the waters of Clam Bayou in Gulfport.

High tide has left litter in the mangroves: plastic foam cups, water bottles, glass.

"I see lots of good stuff," she says.

Meyers wants to set an example for her grandchildren. "You've got to do something in your life that makes a little bit of difference."

She was brought up on a farm, so she always appreciated the outdoors. The first time she paddled, she was 66, a year shy of retiring as a travel agent. She liked being that close to the water. When she's not gliding across it, she'd rather be swimming, fishing or snorkeling. She has kayaked in Costa Rica and the Bay of Fundy.

Still, she continues to build a relationship with Clam Bayou.

The first time Meyers paddled here was about five years ago. It was a stinking mess. Tires and shopping carts clogged the channels. Trash collectors once found a full-length sofa.

"It's entirely different now," she says.

She heads into a mangrove tunnel. Reaching into the water — where the occasional water moccasin hides — she pulls out a black orthopedic shoe.

"My first shoe."

As the sun starts to set, dozens of wood storks, roseate spoonbills and great egrets fly in to rest high in the mangroves. The paddlers pause. One takes out her point-and-shoot. Grandma Rambo won't make it back to shore until her garbage bag overflows.

Living Green is a series of occasional stories by photographer Lara Cerri about people whose lifestyles support the environment. She can be reached at lcerri@sptimes.com.

Living Green: Kayaker removes waste, leaving only wake 11/22/08 [Last modified: Sunday, November 23, 2008 8:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A 10-year-old's overdose death reveals Miami neighborhood's intense struggle with opioids

    Crime

    MIAMI — When 10-year-old Alton Banks left the community swimming pool on the last day of his life, he walked past the elementary school where he had just finished fifth grade.

    People walk through Miami's Overtown neighborhood on Wednesday. [Photo by Scott McIntyre for the Washington Post]
  2. Associated Press: U.S. to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison.

    In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, American student Otto Warmbier speaks as Warmbier is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea.  U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison. [AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon]
  3. Iraqi general who planned Mosul attack talks about liberation

    War

    Iraqi Gen. Talib Shegati Alkenani, the head of his nation's commandos and an architect of the plan to recapture Mosul, couldn't be happier during our telephone conversation last week.

  4. Earthquake jolts Greek, Turkish resorts, kills 2, hurts 500

    World

    KOS, Greece — A powerful overnight earthquake shook holiday resorts in Greece and Turkey, injuring nearly 500 people and leaving two tourists dead on the Greek island of Kos, where revelers at a bar were crushed in a building collapse.

    A partially destroyed building is seen after an earthquake on the island of Kos, Greece Friday. A powerful earthquake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island of Kos and struck panic on the nearby shores of Turkey early Friday, killing two people and injuring some 200 people. [AP Photo/Nikiforos Pittaras]
  5. Plant High grad indicted in brawl on Delta flight to China

    Crime

    SEATTLE — A Plant High School graduate who fought with flight attendants and other passengers when he tried to open the exit door of a Delta Air Lines flight bound from Seattle to China has been indicted on five federal charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

    Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on one count of interfering with the flight crew and four counts of assault on an aircraft. [Facebook]