Ok, so this is not really a Blog in technical terms. But, it IS a journal of some of what DARLING CETACEANS has been up to. This page was originally created to track our adventures with the 1st "Walruses & Whales on Wheels." The 2005/2006 journey has long been over, but the mission continues. Read what we have been up to lately.


Coast Guard



It's nice to be connected with the world again via this web site. We were down for a couple weeks. Thankfully, a couple pages that we have not been able to get up before are now up, like the Events page. Look around for updates and new stuff. Don't forget, you can join us on Facebook, too. Search for DARLING CETACEANS under Groups.



We care about our volunteers and the children we are privileged to teach. That is why D.C. has always done our part to prevent the spread of viruses, like the flu. After each program, we disinfect the materials we use by wiping or spraying them with Lysol. You might think all zoos, aquariums, museums, etc do that. However, that is far from reality. Please encourage your local institution to continuously wipe down surfaces with disinfectant. If they're a non-profit, you can help by donating wipes & spray and donating your time to help keep surfaces children touch clean.



We completed our last beach clean-up of the year last weekend. The 22 lbs collected brings the total to 328 lbs for all 8 monthly clean-ups. For only a couple hundred yards of inland lake front, that's a lot of trash. Thankfully, most of that was sorted and recycled.

Plans are already underway for Lakeshore Earth Day 2010. Earth Rock will be on Friday night, April 16th at the Firebarn in Grand Haven. The Green Parade & Earth Fair take place the next afternoon in downtown Grand Haven.



Coming up shortly is the 1st ever 3R Expo at the Lakes Mall in Muskegon. This will be a good time for families to learn about how to put Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in to play in your home, with specifics on where to take recyclables, or how to get pickup in your neighborhood. There will be lots of info, as well as story time for kids and other activities. It all takes place from 10am to 9pm on Saturday, October 3rd.



The praise is overdue, but well warranted for the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) for allowing D.C. to have a booth space during their beach volleyball tournament in Muskegon last month. We had a great time watching Olympians and other excellent players in between educating about marine debris. DARLING CETACEANS and beach volleyball are a perfect combo! We hope they come back next year and when the do, allow us to take charge of the recycling.



The recycling at Taste of Muskegon went extremely well! D.C. saved over 215 lbs of plastic, aluminum and glass from going in landfills and/or potentially killing wildlife! We received several positive comments and a few requested the recycling efforts to be expanded next year to include cardboard (used by vendors). The bins have also been requested to use at a couple other area festivals. The Muskegon Cty Sustainability Coalition, Muskegon County CVB, Muskegon Main Street, Allied Waste Services, and City of Muskegon all helped make this possible.

D.C. is now in the middle of our next big project and that is riding the rails. We are selling soda pop and water on the Coopersville-Marne Railway during their 'Great Train Robbery' outings this month. After our 1st Saturday, we aren't sure we will make as much money as we had hoped, but we're having fun doing it. Playing ol' west bartenders and barmaids as we interact with the passengers has been enjoyable, especially when the kids get excited when the train is being robbed. Fortunately, the Sherriff and Doc have protected our cash register.



Three months is a bit long between Blog posts, but hopefully you have been keeping updated through the DARLING CETACEANS Group page on Facebook or Connie Coral's MySpace page, anyway. If not, here's a brief summary of what's been going on lately & we invite you to join us on Facebook or MySpace. On the Facebook Group, you can also track where Flat Connie has traveled to.

D.C. now accepts Coopersville Cash. Families and Businesses can get $5 off a 1 yr. D.C. Membership, if they pay for it with Coopersville Cash. This offer expires in September. By using Coopersville Cash, you are supporting the local economy by keeping your money in West Michigan and encouraging the growth and sustainability of small business.

Taste of Muskegon is less than a week away and D.C. will be there to help make the festival more eco-friendly. We are setting up recycle bins next to the trash cans to collect beer, soda pop & H2O cans and bottles. D.C.'s volunteers will be emptying and sorting the recyclables during the 2 day event and the money collected will used to make recycling a sustainable project for all fairs & festivals in Muskegon County.



In yesterday's Muskegon Chronicle we learned that we were not selected in the final cut for a chance to receive an old school building. It's like our own version of March Madness. Had the building been donated to D.C., it would have enabled us to begin work on the D.C. Centre and be about 6 years ahead of schedule. It would also be the catalyst for economic growth for our area, providing hundreds of jobs and drawing millions of tourism dollars annually. Instead, the final 2 groups being considered are proposing low income housing and a youth center. We now go in search of another building.

In brighter news, D.C. has been invited to set-up our marine debris display at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum. This is the same exhibit that we created for the Grand Haven Green Store last summer. The display, re-named Trash Troubles (or Deadly Debris) will go up soon and remain up through May.



What will you be doing to celebrate Earth Day? I know, it's seems a little early to be talking about an event that is not until April. But, before you know it, it will be here. When D.C. was in Central Texas, we had to select from a list of events to decide which one we would have a booth at. That has not been the case here in West Michigan. Thankfully, the Earth Day Task Force was created in the Tri-Cities (south of Muskegon) to take on this problem. They have been organizing a day of events for the past couple years. This year D.C. has joined the group and is excited to be able to participate. The event starts with a Green Parade that starts in downtown Grand Haven and journeys to Mulligan's Hollow, where games and info booths will be ready for families to enjoy and learn from. If you're in West Michigan on April 18th, be sure to come by. If you are with a business or organization that wants to educate about green practices or projects you're doing, we would love for you to participate. Want to be in the parade? The main rule is no combustion engines - walk, ride your bike, pull a wagon - be green! If you're not in West Michigan that day, be sure to find an event in your community to be part of, or plan one. It can be as simple as cleaning up trash. Whatever it is, as Nike used to say "just do it!"



A new year brings new opportunities. D.C. dearly hopes one of these opportunities will be moving in to a place where we may finally open a museum and have space for our volunteers to work from. We feel restricted in our abilities right now and are eager to move forward. Muskegon Public Schools in reviewing our proposal to use their Froebel School (read 10/24 entry). Unfortunately, we did experience a set-back this last couple weeks. Troubles with our server, combined with switching hosting providers, lead to this web site being up and down. Along with that, our email was sporadically working, preventing normal contact with the outside world. Thankfully, we are up and running again. Maybe this will be the extent of our hassles for 2009 and everything will progress smoothly the rest of the year.   



D.C. has begun a new partnership with Volunteer Muskegon, an organization that promotes volunteerism in the community and connects the skills community citizens have with non-profits and projects that need them. Volunteer Muskegon is a place for teenagers to seniors to go to in order to find opportunities to serve in our community. The RSVP program Volunteer Muskegon coordinates is a program designed specifically for volunteers 55 yrs and up. We not only look forward to being united with new volunteers, but also look forward to the programs the organization hosts that will better enable us to appreciate all our current and future volunteers. 



We are excited to collaborate with Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore to offer badges and fun patches for Brownies & Junior scouts. The badges are the Water Wonders (Juniors) & Water Everywhere (Brownies). Water  Wonders will be offered for smaller groups in conjunction with our monthly beach clean-ups. Water Everywhere will be held at the Pine & Dunes grounds in Muskegon. D.C. has also created a Marine Mammal Fun Patch for Brownies & Juniors. This patch is a combination of 3 patches (Mermaids & Manatees, Soft & Silly Seals, & World of Whales). Each mini patch is earned individually over the course of about a year. 



D.C. may have an opportunity to receive an old school building & its property as a donation. The 55,000 ft2 bldg was an elementary school and has been closed down and for sale for a few years. The cost to the school district to maintain the building has been too great and the district is now considering donating it to a non-profit. D.C. has expressed interest to the district. Initially, we would use part of the bldg to finally open a small museum and gift shop, generating much needed income and allowing biofacts to properly be displayed. We would also have space to conduct on-site education programs. The rest of the space would be available for other non-profits to use, helping them get footing. As our collections and exhibits grow, we would increase the amount of space we use in the bldg. First, we must present our idea to the district in detail. We are anxious about this possibility. It would be a dream come true for D.C.




"Rose" is being auctioned off on-line at The auction begins on Oct 6th at 5pm and ends Oct. 17th at 12 pm. If you want a unique 32' Class A Motorhome, or just want to help D.C., please bid on this vehicle!



Due to the shortfall in the Candy Bar Campaign, we were forced to give up "Rose," our motorcoach. We can still travel around the country, but we will not be able to do extended trips any longer. That is, unless some generous person or company donates another motorcoach to D.C., or buys Rose back from the bank and gives it to us. We'll let you know where she's auctioned, when WellsFargo Bank tells us.

Otherwise, things are going "swimmingly!" We had a great time in the Shoreline Spectacular Labor Day Parade. A couple of our founding members even traveled up from Alabama to join us! Since we didn't have Rose, we drove the pick-up and held "Harley," a model of a spinner dolphin that was rehabilitated in Texas. Harley was in a stretcher.



Well, the Candy Bar Campaign did not go as well as anticipated. We did not get anywhere near the goal. Which means we are in a financial struggle. However, good things have been happening since April. One exciting project is the Green Store sponsored by the City of Grand Haven. The store sells green products, as well as educates the public about living green. D.C. was invited to set-up a display in the store about marine debris and it's impact on the Great Lakes and oceans. Another area of accomplishment is the video posted to YouTube about manatees. We still have a long way to go in the video production department, but at least the video and audio match up this time. We are seeking a volunteer or a team of volunteers who are good at this type of thing.

We are going to be at the Human Race at the Muskegon State Park Winter Sports Complex this Saturday, August 16th all morning. Come on out and say hello, if you are in West Michigan! 



The Candy Bar Campaign is underway. We are asking businesses, corporations, celebrities and you to buy a 100 Grand candy bar for $1,000. The proceeds from this event will ensure that we may help stranding networks rescue whales, seals and other marine mammals, and we can continue to inspire children to care for our earth.

Somewhat related -- we are having a heck of a time getting videos in a format to post on YouTube, MySpace and other places. We finally got one recorded and posted on YouTube (after 2 hrs trying to upload it) and the sound is now messed up. We won't give up, though.

Go to the $150 Grand w/ 100 Grand page to get all the details.



D.C. is about to begin the biggest fundraiser we have ever done. The goal is $150,000, which is pocket change for some. But, for us, it means more than we can express. We are seeking 150 people and businesses from around the globe who would like to make a big difference in the world with only a $1,000 contribution. The campaign will all the details begins April 1st and we need anyone who can help to come forward. Contact your local news, email celebrities to beg for their support... whatever you can do to let the world know what we are doing. Remember, you are helping protect animals like dolphins, seals and manatees with your work.



What a day! D.C. just returned from the 4th Annual Outhouse 500 in Coopersville, Michigan. The Outhouse 500 is an event where groups build an outhouse on wheels to race 500 feet down main street. Our entry was titled "When You Gotta Pee 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and was made entirely of recycled materials. Our team had a rough time getting down the road (a couple wheels popped off when they hit a bump), but they stayed with it. They were an awesome team! By the 3rd heat, the team ran down the street holding the flag and wheels, leaving the rest of the outhouse sitting on the side of the road. We didn't win, but we did get an award from the Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce and we are in the news. Search YouTube for video (ours will be posted, as soon as we can convert it from 8mm). Thank you Andy, Brandon, Josiah & Julie for enduring the cold and being such great sports! Also, thank you Coopersville Hardware & Feed Supply for donating the skids (palettes) that we converted to an outhouse.

View More Pictures at the Picture Page and at the Recycle Page


1st Heat Race


3rd Heat Race

Team with Chamber Award



D.C. now has a mascot and her name is Connie Coral. She is an Informal Educator/SCUBA Diver who will be making appearances at events around West Michigan. But, you don't have to wait to meet her. Go to her MySpace page today to learn about her, be added to her friends list and shoot her an email. To have her come to your event, contact our Education Department.



Four more days until Christmas! If you need a last minute gift idea, how about a gift membership to DARLING CETACEANS? You will not get the certificate in time, but hey... you can blame that on us and save face.

D.C. just mailed in our registration form for the legendary, Outhouse 500. We are so excited to be part of this event! The races take place on Main Street in downtown Coopersville, February 23rd. Go to to get a taste of this fun event, then come on out February 23rd to cheer us on!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!



D.C. is gaining momentum in town. In the last month or so, we have done presentations, had booths or driven in parades at several area events, including Unity Fest. We are becoming a known part of the community and are making lots of friends. One of those friends is Furious Fred, the mascot for the Muskegon Fury hockey team. He took a break in our RV at Shoreline Spectacular and we met up with him again at CELEBRATE! God's Amazing Animals. When one of our officers went to sit in at a Nature Club meeting, some of the people there knew who he was before he could introduce himself. The media is taking notice of D.C., as well. In the same time period, D.C. has been included in two publications; the Muskegon Chronicle and the Norton Shores Examiner.



Right now Jennifer and I are 3 hours in to the 24 hour drive back to Muskegon, Michigan from Boerne, Texas. What a week it has been! Rather than send other Education Staff to Texas, we decided to go ourselves, so we could see what changes have taken place in the community D.C. started in. Plus, we just love the wonderful kids in Boerne ISD.

Overall, we were pleased. The local grocery store, H-E-B, has expanded the environmentally friendly products they carry, thanks to a push from Boerne residents. Kendall Elementary has new solar panels- so new, they may not be functional quite yet. The Kendall Elementary KLEAN Team continues to do great work recycling plastic bags, paper, and ink cartridges. A plastic bottle recycle collection project they did was rewarded with coats they distributed to the community. These coats have recycled filling. Students at Fair Oakes Ranch Elementary are eager to pick up trash around their school, to keep it from ending up in rivers that lead to the Gulf of Mexico, where it can harm ocean life. Students also are responsible for emptying classroom-made paper recycle bins weekly. Keep Boerne Beautiful received funding to place cigarette collection containers outside area businesses at no cost to the business, preventing the chemical-filled butts from entering the water. Unfortunately, the couple businesses we were able to visit that once were part of the can recycling pilot program, were not continuing recycling after we left.

We had a great time talking with the students down here all week and look forward to the possibility of returning next year! We are also looking forward to returning to the students and cooler climate in Michigan.



There was a table set-up as one comes out of Sam's Club promoting the D.A.R.E. program. Interested in how they were fundraising, I stopped to talk with the young woman who was selling ID cards, a roll-up key board and other merchandise. She actually represented a company that was fundraising for D.A.R.E. and was not from the program itself. When I asked her how much of the money actually went to the D.A.R.E. program, she proudly stated 20%. She also correctly pointed out that many similar companies only give 3-6% to the non-profit they are "helping." While it is nice to get "stuff," please consider giving your donations directly to the non-profit you want to receive the money. That way, if you donate $10, then all $10 will benefit the cause, not just $2 of it.

For those who are faithful members, your April newsletter did not get lost in the mail. We chose to postpone the issue until some of the Education crew return from their trip to Texas this week. They will be conducting programs back in the town D.C. started in. We know you are an understanding group and we thank you for that!



It is amazing how connected the world is now that we have the World Wide Web! Thanks to the internet, D.C. has been able to reach thousands weekly. With the ease of email, we have been able to help students with school reports from as far away as Norway and Israel.

On the local level, we are ready to open the D.C. Museum. Unfortunately, we are still seeking space to open it. Someone in Muskegon has commercial space they are willing to donate for a few years, so children and families will have the opportunity to see real whale and seal specimens up close. Is that person you?



A volunteer worked hard creating recycle boxes to put in area businesses to collect ink cartridges and cell phones. Next will be putting them in the businesses. The boxes help keep landfills from filling, raises a little money for D.C. and helps the Muskegon community be aware that D.C. is a resource that is available to them. D.C. will also be re-starting the Green Citizen Awards. This is a great way to recognize community members for the environmentally conscious practices they do. To see recipients of Boerne, go to the Recipient page. Muskegon recipients will begin to appear their once the program is fully in place.



DARLING CETACEANS has been especially good this year and feel we deserve a few items from our Christmas list. The 1st item on our list is space. We are seeking someone do donate commercial space in Muskegon on a lease term for 1 to 5 years, depending on the amount of space offered. Members is number 2 on our list. We would like more people to become members, through Individual Memberships, Family/Classroom Memberships and Corporate Sponsors. We also need to pay off the last "Walruses & Whales on Wheels" adventure and could really use cash donations to do so. We can only do what you allow us to. If you can help by directly giving something from our list, or you can direct someone you know to us who can help, please do!



The web site is going through some major changes, thanks to the efforts of our young volunteers. We have discovered that, while thousands of you view this site weekly, you're not interested enough to stay and explore it. Also, we have not received the financial support we need. So, we put a couple high school students to work who are offering their views and learning how to do web pages at the same time.

Now that they are working on the layout, that will hopefully mean others of us can fill in the content that has been lacking for so long.



Recently, Joe Catey joined DARLING CETACEANS as the Executive Secretary. Joe is a long time resident of Muskegon who is helping D.C. become established and make connections. We are delighted that he has joined our team!

As we hunt for office space, seed money and make friends in the area, we have also started participating in community events. The largest event in Muskegon is the 11 day Summer Celebration, with concerts, a carnival and other festivities. We drove "Rose" in the weekend parade which had Raven as Grand Marshall. We will also be driving "Rose" in the televised Coast Guard Festival Parade in Grand Haven later this summer. Between public appearances, "Rose" has been parked in Waterfront Storage, LLC thanks to their generosity.



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This site was last updated 01/16/10