Snorkelers Discover Urchin With Hair Accessory
Harry, the sea urchin was found with a very unusual accessory. Clearwater Marine Aquarium summer camp students discovered the urchin with a plastic hair clip attached to its tube feet while snorkeling in Clearwater Bay. Harry’s story shows how plastic and marine debris are becoming more common and a growing problem in our oceans.
Sea urchins often collect seashells, pebbles and other items for protection and camouflage. They attach to them using suction from their long tube feet between their spines. These tube feet are also found on sea stars and used to move around and gather food. Fortunately, the plastic hair clip did not appear to cause any direct harm to Harry. However, sea turtles and other marine animals that eat sea urchins could have potentially become ill or died if they had consumed the plastic object.
Sea Urchin Released After Ocean Debris Campaign Launch
CMA staff rescued Harry and monitored him until he safely dropped the hair clip. The sea urchin was released back into the water on July 24 with help from the Dolphin Tale stars, including Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Nathan Gamble, who played Hazel and Sawyer in the movies. The actors were visiting CMA this week and joined CEO David Yates to announce Winter’s Ocean Warriors, a new campaign to raise awareness and help take action to reduce marine debris.
And how did Harry receive his name, you ask? The sea urchin’s name inspiration came from none other than Harry Styles and his hair clip fashion. Can Harry the sea urchin sing as well as his celebrity name inspo too? Still to be determined. We won’t judge this retro hair accessory choice, but help us keep them out of the ocean, please.