'Mermaid Ellie' promotes environmental stewardship
Hampton Roads has seen plenty, but a mermaid in its waters? Really?Ummmm, OK, but where's the 'environmental stewardship'?
Yes. Her name is Gabrielle Guaciaro, also known as "Mermaid Ellie."
Her auburn hair, striking eyes, high cheekbones and fair skin is reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, but in truth what mermaid isn't?
Guaciaro's get-up includes a 30-pound tail that's worth more than $1,000.
"I've just always wanted to be a mermaid," she said.
Guaciaro will be fulfilling that dream, swimming along the Oceanfront next month during Beach FamFest. This 10-week summer festival will be presenting "mermaid sightings" of Mermaid Ellie every Friday before sunset, including photos with the iridescent star.
It is no surprise that Guaciaro has made her way from upstate New York to Norfolk, which uses the mermaid as its city symbol. There, she has been working with Norfolk Beautiful as a volunteer to promote environmental stewardship.OK, it was a stretch, but it involved a cute girl with big, uhhh, fins. Yeah, that's it, fins...
John Deuel, recycling coordinator for Norfolk Beautiful, says Guaciaro's realistic costume and gentle demeanor presents a positive approach to children and adults on cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
"People need something tangible," Deuel said, "and she indirectly connects to the resource to where these animals live."