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From our Rivers to the Oceans

Posted by Jody on January 3, 2013

Albuquerque Bio Park, Albuquerque Aquarium

Albuquerque Bio Park, Albuquerque Aquarium

Even on a cold winter’s day in the American Southwest, there’s plenty to learn about our world’s rivers, lakes, oceans, rugged shorelines, and sandy beaches. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, we have a wonderful BioPark which includes the Albuquerque Aquarium. As you enter the aquarium building, the first exhibit relates to our own Rio Grande, the river that flows from southwestern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sign at the entrance of the Albuquerque Aquarium

Sign at the entrance of the Albuquerque Aquarium

As romantic as it might sound to say that a person could send a message in a bottle down a river in New Mexico to be found by someone on an ocean beach, that really is the case, and that is not actually a good thing if one stops to think of that bottle as a piece of trash.  We desert dwellers might not think about the ocean on a daily basis (well, perhaps in our daydreams), but our behaviors upstream do have an impact on the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. Taking the kiddos to this aquarium is a great way to teach them (and ourselves) about the importance of keeping our waters clean. As we say in The Land of Enchantment, “Toss no mas!”

Rio Grande Exhibit, Albuquerque Aquarium

Rio Grande Exhibit, Albuquerque Aquarium

"Oh the Mighty Rio Grande, Flowing to the Gulf."  - Gulf of Mexico Beach, Texas

“Oh the Mighty Rio Grande, Flowing to the Gulf.” – Gulf of Mexico Beach, Texas

You never know!  Maybe that piece of beach glass you found on a beach in Alabama found its way there from farther inland than you imagined.  In the end, there is no way to know, but it is interesting to think about, and the more people we can educate about keeping trash out of our waterways, the better, even if trash can be turned into a beachcomber’s treasure.

So, happy beach combing, everyone!  Do you think that those of us who like to collect beach glass, driftwood, and beach pottery pieces are really clearing upstream litter off the beach?  Wouldn’t that be a nice and unexpected perk!


4 Responses to “From our Rivers to the Oceans”

  1. kiwiskan said

    Warms my beachcomber’s heart…

  2. Bill Hayes said

    How amazing to think that the flowing water that tamed and smoothed the jagged glass also dug the Grand Canyon. Water certainly takes the long view.

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