Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 13, 2014 - beach cleanup #373





beach cleanup #373
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
4.7 pounds tonight
1,377.2 pounds total




I track how many plastic water bottles I find on the beach by using the ONE+ONE app from my phone. After every beach cleanup I upload the data right there in the parking lot. It's a pretty cool app and community that could use your support. Here's their website. 


My six-month-old daughter Willow is playing in her portable crib beside me as I post this week's collection. I was feeling down on Sunday after facing another dirty beach scene. But when I left the sand a little kid about three years old said hi to me ten times in a row. You couldn't help but smile. Reflecting on last Sunday night's cleanup, and looking at Willow right now, I don't need another reason to trek out there next Sunday. At the risk of sounding cliched to the max, the desire for our children to enjoy the ocean like I have is a good enough reason for me to carry on. 


I'll be speaking to a group of high school students staying at UCLA over the summer tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to sharing The Daily Ocean's story with them. I love working with students. If you would like me to come talk to your class, club, business, or organization go to www.dailyocean.org for more information. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

July 10, 2014 - beach cleanup #372




beach cleanup #372
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
3 pounds tonight
1,372.5 pounds total

Community Count - Heather
1.4 pounds tonight

Daily Ocean Combined Total - 2,488.2 pounds off of beaches around the world





This week's beach cleanup came later than usual for a couple of reasons. First of all, my husband was out of town and I'm not sure how comfortable I am taking our baby Willow out for a cleanup alone, especially when mommy is picking up dirty stuff and her little immune system is only five months old. 

Second, our community had it covered. I saw this on Sunday, the night I usually go out, and was pretty psyched to see folks meeting up that morning where I do all of the daily ocean cleanups. I need to email the organizer to find out how it went!


It's difficult to come up with something new to say about plastic on the beach. I see so much of it. This morning when I was in the ocean, my hand stroked through the water and came up with pits of plastic wrappers...



What comes to mind as I ask myself why I keep doing this is that I love this place, this beach in particular, and I love the ocean, this little patch right here, and so I keep showing up to take the trash away that doesn't belong, to swim, to soak in the sun, to marvel at the sunset, and remain grateful for this big beautiful earth with all the complexities that exist here. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 29, 2014 - beach cleanup #371



beach cleanup #371
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
7 pounds tonight
1,369.5 pounds of trash off this beach total




I find many, many plastic beverage bottles of all kinds. I find too many. I also occasionally drink iced green tea out of a plastic bottle. I found it really easy to grab one when I took time off from doing regular beach cleanups after my daughter was born. 

I went to Starbucks last night. I wanted to try their new Fizzio or something drinks. It's summer. I was thirsty. I would recycle it. Oh wait, I don't believe in plastic recycling (if you'd like me to explain leave a comment) Well, just this once...This was the conversation in my head. 


But I'd just done a beach cleanup the night before and so I reached for a glass bottle instead of ordering a fancy Starbucks drink that comes in a plastic cup. Glass is truly recyclable. I recycled the bottle at home. Direct content with the items found on the beach forces me to make different choices in my day-to-day life. It's one of the reasons I think beach cleanups are effective. 


We're never going to clean the entire coastline, or even the entire beach in one night, but every day we are going to go buy stuff. And the stuff we buy, the choices we make, create change. 
So how about next time, just today, or tomorrow, glass over plastic?




Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 22, 2014 - beach cleanup #370



beach cleanup #370
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.3 pounds
1,362.5 pounds total 


My friend Dominique diligently unraveling a yellow caution tape from the kelp. The problem with synthetic rope, lines, ribbons, etc. in the ocean is that once marine life entangle themselves in it, they very rarely get untangled. 


A very old foil balloon that never intended to be here. 


Wallace J Nichols has a new book out - BLUE MIND, The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do


Thank you Willow and Dominique for coming out onto the beach tonight. 





Monday, June 16, 2014

June 15, 2014 - beach cleanup #369




beach cleanup #369
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.7 pounds
1,357.2 pounds total



With one minute left to go, I came upon this scene. 

Do I need to bring two bags out for a twenty minute beach cleanup? 
Sigh. 

One huge armful went into the trash can in the photo that was almost full to the brim. I let the timer run out at twenty minutes and kept on going until this was all in a bag, or a can. 

I was crestfallen until I looked up. 

Someone was helping me! 

We didn't even speak, but just kept on cleaning until we were done. It's moments like this that confirm for me that most people are pretty good at the core. 






Happy Father's Day yesterday. 




This new app lets you upload your beach cleanup info from your phone! I've tried it! It's great. 
Click on the link above and check it out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 5th, 2014 - beach cleanup #368


beach cleanup #368
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
4.5 pounds
1,351.5 pounds total


Last Thursday I came out for another beach cleanup. My friend Danielle, who writes the amazing blog IT STARTS WITH ME, wrote in an email recently - BEACH CLEANUPS FOR LIFE. I agree. This may be my 3rd cleanup in the new goal of once a week for a year, but really it's about looking after my local beach for life. I can do that if I break it down into a weekly adventure. 


The Sun is extraordinary. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1st, 2014 - beach cleanup #367


beach cleanup #367
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
5.8 pounds
1,347 pounds total 


I left the house at 7:00 pm to the sounds of a very unhappy Willow and her Daddy consoling her that she indeed needed to go to bed, and that really she was just tired, really. Well, reasoning with a baby is not how they work. But Garen is a great dad and reassured me to get going! 

This is the first piece of trash that really made me wince. Birds were ambling around it. I imagined the mess, and direct entanglement it could mean for them and any number of sea creatures. These mesh bags usually house sand toys, but are deadly to marine life. I felt great satisfaction at swooping this into my bag. At least this one wasn't going to cause direct misery. 


I am not the parent of a sand toy using kiddo, and I am sure it is hard to get all the gear off the beach, but an entire treasure trove of sand toys were left behind. No kid, or family in sight were attached to these sand castle creating tools. 


Last night as I was out walking, I remembered that summer is a hard time to do beach cleanups. There's usually just so much stuff left out here. And if summer is hard, then the hardest night is Sunday because it is after a weekend of beach going. 

If my weekly commitment to come out for a cleanup falls on Sunday nights, then part of me is inspired by this, and part of me is dreading the months ahead. It is hard to see the trash in such high volume. It is also satisfying to be down there on this one little stretch to do something about it. I feel better, some of the birds and other sea creatures benefit, people see what I am doing even if most of them don't engage me directly, and I have to believe that in these ways I make a direct difference. Just becuase it is a small difference, doesn't mean it doesn't count. 



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

back in the saddle!! memorial day weekend beach cleanup - #366


beach cleanup #366
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
7.9 pounds
1,341.2 pounds total 

thanks to Jess, Drew, Alex, Garen, Willow and a man who didn't stick around to chat!


Here is our four-month-old baby girl, Willow! 
A lot has happened since the 365th Daily Ocean beach cleanup. I've done beach cleanups since, but haven't added them to the Daily Ocean total. 
Here's the short version of what's happened since I finished the first leg of this project.
I wrote a book for kids about The Daily Ocean. 
It's still being shopped around by my agent. Cross your fingers for me!
After that, I got pregnant and then sick for about seven months. Our labor and delivery was a wee bit of a challenge and so was recovery. 
But we're all happy and healthy now and in a good groove!

During this time, I kept asking myself what I wanted to do next with The Daily Ocean. 
I didn't know.
I was burnt out, exhilirated, wanted to travel the country speaking...
Over the last 15 months I have kept asking myself, "What next?"


Finally, I have an answer!
I want to blog right here again. 
I didn't know how much I missed this part of my life until I signed back on today. 

I want to do a weekly beach cleanup for a year...at least. 


I want to speak to classes, schools, businesses, and anyone else who would like to have me. 

I'LL SPEAK FOR FREE ANYWHERE IN A 60 MILE RADIUS OF LOS ANGELES.

I had the opporunity to do some of this over the last year, and I love it. 



I want to encourage people to come out on the beach with me, or do their own cleanup. Please read about the Community Count by clicking the link at the top of this page. 

These are my friends Jess, Drew, and little Alex who was born less than two weeks after Willow. 


When she is old enough to decide, I want Willow to come on the beach with me as much as she wants. I want her to be proud of her Mom for caring about the ocean and the environment. 
Who knows? Maybe she'll love the mountains, or the city, or...and that would be fine too. 
But as you can tell from this photo, she seems to love the ocean right now. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SHORT VIDEO ABOUT THE DAILY OCEAN



The Daily Ocean from Rory Gordon on Vimeo.

Independent filmmaker Rory Gordon cut together this short video about The Daily Ocean.
Thank you Rory! For more information about her creative projects and how to contact her go to

Monday, April 15, 2013

HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH



SINCE I FINISHED MY 365TH BEACH CLEANUP THERE ARE 2 WAYS TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH WHAT I'M UP TO.

1. IT WOULD HELP SO MUCH IF YOU COULD COME ON OVER TO FACEBOOK AND LIKE MY DAILY OCEAN FACEBOOK PAGE!

I POST DAILY 

  • OCEAN RELATED PHOTOS
  • WHAT BEACH CLEANUPS I'M DOING 
  • OCEAN RELATED NEWS AND ISSUES 
  • OCEAN THEMED ART THAT INSPIRES ME




2. HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT MY NEW WEBSITE? 


CLICK THE JOIN ME TAB! 
I'LL BE ACTIVATING THE BLOG FUNCTION IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AND WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN I DO.

FOR NOW I'M BUSY EDITING A DRAFT OF A BOOK FOR 10 years old+ 

HOPE YOU ARE WELL AND INCLUDING THE OCEAN IN YOUR DAILY LIFE!
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Sara

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NEW YEAR, NEW WEBSITE, NEW MISSION


January 2013 has flown by! 

With the new year in full swing, it's time to introduce the new Daily Ocean website. 

Although I've finished my initial goal of 365 beach cleanups, I'm still going. I've already taken over 1,300 pounds of trash off of my local beach while inspiring people around the world to do the same resulting in over 2,200 pounds of trash off of beaches around the world, but I've got some new goals and you are invited to join me!

Please come and see what I am up to, click the "JOIN ME" button to sign up for monthly updates. Let's work together to inspire one another to ensure healthy beaches and oceans around the world!

ONE PERSON MAKES A DIFFERENCE, THAT ONE PERSON IS YOU. TOGETHER WE ARE AN UNSTOPPABLE SOLUTION. 



Monday, January 21, 2013

PARTY TO CELEBRATE THE 365TH DAILY OCEAN CLEANUP!


Way back in 2012 (Dec. 7th) we had a party to celebrate the 365th Daily Ocean beach cleanup. I set my goal over three years ago with a few guidelines - 



How much trash could one person collect off of their local beach in "one year"?

1. go to the same beach for every beach cleanup
2. time myself to clean up for only 20 min. 
3. take photographs of the good, the beautiful and the trashy as I went along and post them here
4. go as many days as possible - not in a row - my average was one beach cleanup every three days




I wasn't sure who I would reach with my new project when it began in March of 2009, but I've made several friends like Marina Deb Ris who is a graphic designer, trashion designer, and plastic pollution awareness activist. 




Friends from other parts of my life showed up for me on Dec. 7. Here's Nancy and Sandra looking at my photographs which I displayed pop-up gallery style at Yogitoes that night. 



When enough folks had gathered I presented my new website to the crowd. 


I'd been working on it for a couple of months and was proud to roll it out that night. Even though I've finished my initial goal, I'm not planning on stopping here. 



My friend Danielle was here to celebrate. We've collaborated a lot over the last few years. She has a section of her blog IT STARTS WITH ME called OUR DAILY OCEAN. We have been comparing cigarette butt counts during our respective bi-coastal 20 min. cleanups between CA and her home of North Carolina. Our friendship is for me one of the most treasured outcomes of my project.



Kellie made all the goodies. She's a talented photographer and pastry chef. My friend Ben standing next to her is lucky to call her his girlfriend. They're a great match!
Ben teaches at Santa Monica High School and coaches Team Marine. 
A big thank you for a Team Marine alum and friend Kou for helping me that night. 


So what am I up to? 

Come to www.dailyocean.org and sign up for updates and news from me. 

It's easy - click the JOIN ME button and enter an email address 

where you'd like to receive a monthly update from me. One goal of mine is that I want to speak to as many schools and businesses as will have me. Can you help?





I want to surprise and delight with my talks, photography and writing. 





I want to inspire as many people as I possibly can to care for our oceans and beaches. 

It's so easy! You can do it!




I projected a running slideshow of my photographs. 





Welcomed new friends from the Surfrider Rise Above Plastics Speaker Training Program
 - Phil and Fernanda





Got a chance to chat with friends from the beach and



reveled in the company of friends, family and ocean lovers as we filled the space with Blue Love for our Blue Planet.



The conversation is still going on. Thanks to my friend Lindsey for joining the fun who works tirelessly with Surfrider, and Environmental Charter Schools. 

Here's to many more ocean centered conversations where people feel motivated, heard and fired up to make a difference for the ocean. But a difference for the ocean is also for all the people and life on this wondrous planet of ours. Come along for further adventures at 


for the full party album here - Daily Ocean Party on Flckr