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Ducks in Harvard Square, Acting Local, Affecting the Global
Go the distance for savvy stewardship of a healthy planet Earth

Labrador Duck last seen in 1870.

Next time in Harvard Square, stop by the historic Out Town News Kiosk, cross Mass Ave to the Bank of America, and look for the ducks in the window next to a yellow floor-cleaning sign that says Caution Climate Change.

Birds of a feather have flocked together to remind that seeing wildfowl daily is good for one’s health, good for families, good for community, and good for planet Earth.


When the weather is bad, ducks don’t seem to mind. Sea ducks, like those¬†in the case, the harlequin, bufflehead, goldeneye, and longtail just ride out the waves.¬† The green-winged teal, pintail, shoveler, and wood duck put their head under a wing and let it blow.


When times are bad remember the duck.¬† Swimming on the water, face into the wind, riding the waves like a carousel pony, ducks look serene, untroubled. Beneath the water, out-of-sight, the duck is paddling overtime just to stay in place. When next you are paddling overtime, don’t let ’em know. Be like a duck, steady and persistent. Don’t let wind and weather push you about. If your feet aren’t webbed, you’ve just got to paddle harder.


Climate change affects are local. This snowy owl chick in Barrow Alaska is not expected to survive the summer. Global warming has caused summer snows to become summer rains.¬† The owl’s feathers that kept owlet warm and dry in snows let cold rain penetrate, insulation is lost and hypothermia follows.¬† Reducing one’s carbon footprint, any decrease in the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted, will slow the rise in temperatures.¬† By reducing your emissions, you help others. You help us all.

The gannet is expanding in population. When faced with adversity, can we learn from this white flying cross that plunge-dives from on high like an arrow?¬† You can even hear the “thunk” when bird strikes ocean headfirst.

While puffins fly out in random directions from nesting sites and then faithfully fly their independent routes every year, gannets stay together in flocks.¬† Gannets demonstrates that when times are tough, those who hang together in communities thrive. While those who go it alone, don’t.

You are invited to flock with the Ocean River Institute.  It costs nothing and the rewards of collaborative work in concert with diverse groups are great.  To join in the good work, simply sign up for ORI eAlerts. Be informed, get savvy, choose your battle, and speak loudly when you strike a wave, advance your local actions.  ORI will help you develop voice to speak truth to power.  Decision makers listen to ORI because we speak in a cacophony of varied, personal voices from 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia. Together, we  go the distance by making the difference.  Sign up for ORI eAlerts.

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