Goffinet McLaren grew up in the historic town of Carrickfergus, on the water`s edge of Northern Ireland. Surrounded by the sea, she was aware at a very early age of the importance of caring for the ocean and its inhabitants. As she grew into adulthood, she developed a passion to make a difference to our planet.
After retiring to the beautiful coast of South Carolina, Goffinet realized that something dreadful was happening! Litter of all sorts, and particularly plastic products, carelessly left on the beach by thoughtless visitors, were being washed into the sea.
Concerned about the impact of this plastic in the ocean, she investigated what might be known about this problem, and encountered Capt. Charles Moore, the sea captain who had discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch some years before.
As she learned more about Capt. Moore’s research, her worst fears about plastic in the ocean were confirmed. As a result of plastic ingestion, millions of birds, seals, dolphins, turtles, and even whales, suffer heartbreaking deaths, a phenomenon that Goffinet refers to as “a holocaust of ocean life.”
Haunted by what she had learned, she resolved to bring more awareness to the plight of marine life.
She would often engage in conversation about litter problems with families visiting the beach, and she noticed that children became especially engrossed. One day as she watched some gulls pecking at a piece of plastic, it occurred to her that generations of seagulls must have witnessed the same changes that had taken place in the ocean since she herself was a little girl. And while she, Goffinet, could talk to the adults, who better to talk to the children than a wise old seagull.
And so Sullie Seagull was instantly hatched.