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





Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 365 - Dec. 8, 2012


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
.6 pounds
1,333.1 pounds total 

1 cigarette butt


Community Count Day 262 - 39 people
lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
22.1 pounds
1,114.3 pounds total 

DAILY OCEAN COMBINED TOTAL - 
2,447.4 POUNDS OF TRASH OFF BEACHES WORLD-WIDE


Forty of us gathered at the end of the boardwalk at 3:00 p.m. last Saturday to do the 365th Daily Ocean beach cleanup. I set my watch for 20 minutes and off we went. The Daily Ocean has taken over 2,400 pounds off beaches around the world, twenty minutes at a time. 



My routine is to take a photo of lifeguard tower 26 to start my beach cleanup report when I update this website. Then I head to the waterline to snag what is just coming out of, or going into the ocean. 

Thank you to my friend Beth for taking some wonderful photographs of the Daily Ocean's 365th beach cleanup. Please visit her website to see her portfolio. She's a freelance LA based photographer.



Writing this post is bittersweet. Last weekend was incredible. We had a party with 80 - 100 people on Friday night. I knew community was one of the most cherished gifts I've received from doing the Daily Ocean, but seeing many of the people I admire and call friends in one place reaffirmed this. 

Looking out over the sand at the crew that showed up the next day was just as great. Like I said on Friday night, the Daily Ocean was a project conceived of for one person to clean their local beach, but I didn't do this alone. 



What did we find? As Bill Price Environmental Biology Professor from Santa Monica College where my husband teaches shows, more of the usual suspects; straws, styrofoam, cigarette butts, and wrappers. 


My friend Michael Yonke, who re-purposes found materials like wood and metal into incredible one-of-a-kind furniture, shows one of the top three items found in the ocean, candy wrappers. 





My friend Kou catered last night, meaning really he made sure the Izze's soda bottles got recycled and cupcake wrappers found the trash. He found a very strange object last time he was out on the beach with me, and today he's done it again. I am not sure what this dagger-looking object is, but I am glad it is off the sand and in the trash. I met Kou the year I mentored Team Marine more directly. I am still honored to be a partner. 

Find out what great environmental work Santa Monica High School's Team Marine is up to!



Laejohnie and Fernanda came out from Santa Monica College's Eco-Action Club. They are going to be doing Daily Ocean beach cleanups of their own. I'll feature their posts here and they will be the first school to officially join the Daily Ocean's next phase! Stay tuned for more information about that. 


After our twenty minutes we weighed our haul. I'd let everyone know before we went out that it was December so we may not find a lot of trash on the beach since it hadn't rained this week and not many people were sunbathing. These are my favorite kinds of beach cleanups, when twenty minutes is dedicated to remembering my dedication to help the ocean and it is more of a walk than a trash collection. But individual effort added up it like it always does and we got 22.7 pounds of trash off the beach in twenty minutes. 


Thank you to all of the people who took time out of their busy weekend to come be a part of this beach cleanup. A few days later I'm still delighted, relieved, and a bit melancholy to see this phase of the Daily Ocean complete. But there's a lot more to come! 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY FRIEND DANIELLE WHO WRITES THE BLOG IT STARTS WITH ME. She's committed to doing 365 beach cleanups in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina where she lives. Danielle has already done 170 cleanups, and taken over 50,000 cigarette butts off her local beach. Let's all cheer her on along the way!





I'll sign off this post with my last TIP TO HELP THE OCEAN - START.

That's right. Start whatever it is that you are inspired to do. 
Want to do a Daily Ocean cleanup in your neighborhood and write me about it? You are welcome to. Don't know where to start? Ask me, I am here to help - sara@dailyocean.org

I started with one solo beach cleanup in late March 2009 and look what developed from that. It's been a joy to see where the Daily Ocean has taken me so far. You'll never be able to predict just how, and who will help you along the way. 

Millions of people dedicate their working lives, careers, free time, thoughts, money and love to help the ocean every single day. Join us. There's always room for more people who care about the ocean. You're not alone. 

The ocean faces many environmental problems, but there are many, many solutions. 
Let's put our efforts into those solutions together. 

"INDIVIDUALLY WE ARE ONE DROP, TOGETHER WE ARE THE OCEAN." 
- Ryunosuke Satoro 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 364 - Dec. 5, 2012



lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
3.4 pounds
1,332.5 pounds total 

9 cigarette butts

COMMUNITY COUNT DAY 261 - Arleen McGlade, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
1.5 pounds
1,092.2 pounds total

THE DAILY OCEAN COMBINED TOTAL AS OF DEC. 6TH 
 2,424.7 POUNDS TOTAL


(photo credit to my friend Arleen)

It feels very strange to write the 364th post tonight. Danielle from IT STARTS WITH ME is talking to my husband in the next room after 10 p.m. about the beach in North Carolina where Danielle lives. We are a bunch of ocean geeks and I'm smiling listening to them discuss the shells Danielle saw last time she went on her 20 min. beach cleanup. 


Tomorrow we'll have a party in Santa Monica to celebrate the 365th beach cleanup this Sat. at 3:00 p.m. at lifeguard tower 26. The invitation is open to all and I'd love you to join us. 
There's also a network of people around the world who've written to me, done Daily Ocean style cleanups, contributed to this project and blog, left me a message on Facebook or Twitter, and kept me going throughout the last three and a half years. I have not done this alone. 


Tip #1 TO HELP THE OCEAN - 
LOVE THE OCEAN? LOVE THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE OCEAN. 

(photo credit to my friend Arleen)

Looking at this photo of me weighing Arleen's haul it hits me that I've known her for years now. We met because of the Daily Ocean and have been out on the beach at least half a dozen times since.


(photo credit to Kurt via Arleen's phone)

Although this cleanup project is about one person inserting a sustainable amount of effort into their daily life, it is equally about the community of people that I've met because of it. 
If you've joined me on this journey years, months, or only days ago, I hope you'll stay. In many ways I'm just getting started. We are the people who can change our lives to help the ocean. 
What we do matters and we do it together.

LOVE THE OCEAN? LOVE THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE OCEAN. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 363 - Dec. 3, 2012




lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
7 pounds
1,329.1 pounds total

9 cigarette butts



TIP #2 TO HELP THE OCEAN - Curious about an environmental problem? 
Learn more about it and tell your friends and family. 



I asked people in a recent photo giveaway what they would like to see the Daily Ocean do that it's not currently doing. One reply was for the Daily Ocean to learn more about storm water runoff, what the city does about it, and take some action around this issue. 

Today I met with the Office of the Environment and Sustainability here in Santa Monica for an overview of what our city does to prevent pollutants, seen and unseen, from entering 
the Santa Monica Bay. 


The short answer is that they do a lot. I saw one of the catch basins or CDS systems that traps trash from the busy downtown shopping district before it goes into the bay. There was plenty of plastics and polystrene containers floating on top of some pretty dirty water. I'm going back in the next week or so for a longer tour. After that I'll cover more about what I learned in an entire post dedicated to the topic.


But for now I'll leave with a reminder for this post's TIP TO HELP THE OCEAN. 

TIP #2 TO HELP THE OCEAN - Curious about an environmental problem? 
Learn more about it and tell your friends and family. 


I've learned so much about the larger issues surrounding beach cleanups because once I saw the trash on the sand I became curious about the bigger issues. There are great non-profit organizations like our local Heal the Bay to help me understand how these issues tie together. A beach cleanup is a great place for me to start and come back to, but ultimately an invitation to engage further with ocean conservation in whatever way you I drawn to do that. 



Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 362 - Dec. 1, 2012




lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
4 pounds
1,322.1 pounds total



Community Count Day 259 - Luana, Campell
trash collected for 20 min. 
8 pounds
1,090.3 pounds total 

29 cigarette butts


DAILY OCEAN COMBINED TOTAL - 2,412.4 POUNDS TOTAL 




A BIG THANK YOU TO MY FRIENDS FOR JOINING ME ON THE BEACH!


Today's Tip #3 to help the ocean comes from a comment left on Day 362's post. 

TIP #3 - SHARE YOUR IDEAS TO HELP THE OCEAN, BE INCLUSIVE

An anonymous reader left a comment full of compliments and questions. They asked about the details of Daily Ocean beach cleanups to give them some direction for their own efforts. This is how the Community Section of my blog started in the first place. A reader asked me if she could do a Daily Ocean style beach cleanup. I said yes right away. You can join us too.

 My friend Danielle of IT STARTS WITH ME came up with OUR DAILY OCEAN that's collected hundreds of pounds for this project as well at over 50,000 cigarette butts off her local beaches in North Carolina! Her efforts were instrumental in getting a smoking ban on the ballot last election day that passed. Share ideas. Start your own thing with your own flare and you never know what amazing changes will come from your efforts!



So to follow my own tip, here's the scoop on how to do your own Daily Ocean style beach cleanup. 

1. How do you pick stuff up, especially tiny cigarette butts? Do you use any tools? Do you wear gloves of some kind? 
I used to use a reusable garden glove and now I have a trash grabber stick that a company sent as a promotion for their product. I recommend a reusable glove.


2.  What do you put the stuff in? If you use a plastic garbage bag, how thick should it be?
My friend Teresa A.K.A. THE GREEN BAG LADY made me vinyl bags with mesh along the bottom so the sand drops out. Find out about her incredible project HERE. But really, any reusable bag that can be washed easily will do. The theme here being reusable so that I don't create more trash by picking it up.

3.  Do you separate the recyclables? I have at times and at other times I haven't. This is one part laziness, which is hard for me to admit, and two parts what I have learned about plastic recycling or shall I say the myth of plastic recycling. My friend Harry who writes the blog THE FLOTSAM DIARIES writes well researched and written posts on this topic. 

4.  Where do you put the trash once you've finished collecting it? I take it off the sand and put it in a trash can in the parking lot. I make sure that if it is a windy day that it is in a bin that's no more than half full because I don't want the contents to be blown out. 


5.  How can you be sure the stuff you pick up wouldn't be picked up anyway by the city beach clean-up tractors? (I know they only get a fraction of what's out there, but I'd like to leave that fraction to them and make my efforts count.) 

This is a great question! I go right for the stuff closest to the water's edge. For example, I love snagging a plastic bag right before a wave comes to carry it off again where it can do a lot of harm. The beach tractors don't go down any part of the sand that slopes so if you head right for the water you're getting what they do not. In Santa Monica they rake the sand in the morning. I go for a beach cleanup around sunset to get what's been left for that day. 



6. How do you weigh the stuff? 
I bought a Staples mailing scale that I leave in the back of my car. I put it on my car just like this when I get back from my 20 min. cleanup and stick the bag right on top to weigh it. 


7. What about hazardous stuff like syringes? 
I've found one syringe with the cap still on so I just threw it away. What would I do? That's a good question..more than 99% of what I find is every day convenience items made from plastic that have toxic effects galore but not for you when you pick them up if you wear a glove. 

8. Is there anything else I should know?
Go easy on yourself. You may feel really inspired right now and want to do a beach cleanup for twenty minutes every week! And your weeks may get really full, or you may not feel like doing it sometimes. Let that all be OK and go when you can. Don't allow yourself to give up because you don't adhere perfectly to your initial intentions. I think the best intention is to do what you can, when you can and remember that every time you do something it matters. Action feels so much better than inaction. Good luck and let me know how it all goes! You are welcome to share your beach cleanups on the Daily Ocean anytime.  




Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 361 - Nov. 29, 2012


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
3 pounds
1,318.1 pounds total 

6 cigarette butts


(this photo was taken before the rain came - compare it to the one below from the next day)

Sometimes the plastics on the sand blend right into the landscape. You have to look carefully to spot all the fragments mixed in with the natural debris. 
This detail shot is what most of the beach looked like on Nov. 29th. 

I've offered a tip to help the ocean for every one of my last ten beach cleanups. Since this beach cleanup  it has rained enough to flush the storm drains into Santa Monica Bay. This post's tip is inspired by my friend Sarah's picture taken on Friday Nov. 30, 2012 at lifeguard tower 20 next to the Pico/Kenter storm drain. 

TIP #4 to help the ocean - FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH THE POLLUTION IN THE OCEAN?


(photo credit to Sarah Sikich of Heal the Bay)


LET IT FUEL YOU INTO ACTION!

Trash strewn across my local beach disturbs me, but it can change. It changes when we come together and decide to reach for solutions. One simple solution is for me not to buy food products in styrofoam packaging. I've quit drinking plastic bottled water too. 

Sound too simple to be the one-two punch solution a picture like this demands? 

In a coastal city of 15 million people, if for one day we all decided to buy one less beverage bottled in plastic that's 15 million less plastic containers likely to end up on the sand. 
We're never alone. We all have dozens of daily choices that impact the world around us. 
We all matter. We can make a difference, in fact we are the only ones who can.