One man’s trash, another’s mission

Concord Monitor -PHILADELPHIA — Madis Pihlak looked into the eyes of a loggerhead sea turtle at a Florida rehab center and knew he had to help. “You look at that face and they are so beautiful,” said Pihlak, a retired Pennsylvania State University professor of architecture and landscape architecture.

In January, Pihlak and his girlfriend, Toni A. Flanigan, were visiting the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, where they learned that a portion of the garbage generated by Americans will end up in waterways. It gets washed into sewers, moves into creeks, streams, rivers, and oceans, and gets mistaken for prey by seabirds, whales, fish and turtles.

In the wild, the loggerhead turtles, which can live 80 to 100 years and grow to 200 to 350 pounds, eventually become ill and die of starvation as the indigestible products fill their stomachs.

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