What would you do if Shamu busted into your house and dumped raw sewage in your living room? Or if SpongeBob SquarePants got drunk, scattered a case of empty beer cans in your front yard, and started doing donuts on the lawn?
Alas, the poor creatures who live in the ocean don't have the means to tell human litterbugs to kiss off. They have no cans of whoop-ass to open on arrogant boaters, and they don't have any of those signs that say, "Welcome to our ool. Notice there's no P in it. Please keep it that way."
But they do have friends in the Ocean Watch Foundation. This all-volunteer organization was founded in 1988 to protect the coral reefs along Broward County's shore. About 15 years ago, the OWF started putting permanent moorings in the ocean so that boaters could tie up without dropping heavy anchors onto sensitive reefs. In 2003, they started collecting discarded monofilament fishing line -- which hurts sea turtles and manatees and takes 600 years to biodegrade -- and began shipping it to Iowa to be recycled into tackle boxes and toys.
This weekend, the do-gooders hold their signature event -- the 17th Annual Reef Sweep and Beach Cleanup. Volunteer divers will pick up junk underneath the Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach piers, as well as from offshore, and landlubbers will pick up trash along the beach. Care to join the fun? Certified divers who want to go out on a charter boat should call 954-467-1366 to RSVP (it costs $25); otherwise, show up at either pier with your dive gear and your certification card (that's free). Those who choose to stay on land have nine options from Deerfield to Hollywood. Best bets: Anglin's Pier (Commercial Boulevard and A1A, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea), Vista Park (2800 N. Atlantic Blvd., Oakland Park), Birch State Park (Sunrise Boulevard and A1A , Fort Lauderdale), Fort Lauderdale Beach (near Las Olas Boulevard and A1A, across from BeachPlace, Fort Lauderdale), North Beach Park (Sheridan Street and A1A, Hollywood), and the Hollywood Bandshell (Johnson Street and A1A, Hollywood).
And if you don't participate? May an octopus barf on your loveseat. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Noise and Easy
Move Over, Lawrence Welk
Rock 'n' roll went from Dion to Dio. R&B went from Ray Charles to R. Kelly. Now it's time the term easy listening was given some modern treatment. Starting Friday, Club M (2037 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood) hosts Easy Listening, a monthly foray into the depths of noise and experimental music. Yes, the title is ironic. And yes, former 100% Artcore member Brendan Grubb is involved. But this isn't Artcore Part II. "Artcore was more focused on experimental electronics and IDM," says Grubb, who performs as the Wicked Dream Foundation and spins as DJ I Regret to Inform You You Have Two Months to Live. "While I still focus on that, Easy Listening has guys like Christian [Zammas] who are into more abstract, noisy rock like Wolf Eyes." Zammas, a.k.a. Vulcan Nerve Pinch, is the night's other live performer and a resident DJ. Also spinning are DJs Samantha (drone and noise), Tanner (glitch and IDM), and Quita (electro). And if you're lucky, Grubb will do an avant-garde version of "Strangers in the Night." The free event starts at 10:30 p.m. and takes place every month on the second Friday. Call 954-925-8396. -- Jason Budjinski
Willy Wonka's jealous
By tapping into chocolate addiction -- to fat, sugar, and caffeine, combined with natural psychoactive ingredients and ah, that smell! -- the folks at the Palms West Chamber of Commerce have hit on perhaps the only way to attract people to its annual spring trade show. Sure, more than 60 local businesses -- like banks and mortgage companies -- have booths promoting their services. But that's just, you know, pretty boring. However, add a chocolate festival to the mix and now we're talking. Along with the business booths, 17 local restaurants bring food and cocoa desserts to the eighth-annual Taste of the West and Chocolate Lover's Festival this Thursday at the Royal Palm Beach High School cafeteria (10600 Okeechobee Blvd., Royal Palm Beach). Restaurants include Buca di Beppo, Aaron's Catering of Wellington, and the Breakers West Country Club. Taste all 17 and then vote for Best Chocolate Dessert. The event takes place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The $10 admission benefits local charities. Visit www.palmswest.com, or call 561-790-6200. -- Dave Amber
It's Not Easy Designing Green
It's hard to believe the host city of Dania Jai-alai is also home to a mall for interior designers specializing in homes above the 850K mark. But so it goes at the Design Center of the Americas (1855 Griffin Rd., Dania Beach), where it's "Think Green, Design Green" this weekend. Find out how toxic the glue beneath your carpet is, and learn more about corn-kernel upholstery and hardwood furniture that's certified rainforest-friendly. Discussions and showings of environmentally friendly furniture and design techniques highlight the weekend. For instance, consider the chairs made by designer Chris Lehrecke, whose furniture is not only beautiful, but comes only from trees that fell by themselves in the forest. Which raises that age-old philosophical question: If a mahogany tree falls in the rainforest and an interior designer is there to hear it, should it be made into flooring for a Weston McMansion? Call 954-920-7997. -- Dave Amber