Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 14 - May 8, 2009

Life Guard Station 26, Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
est. lbs. today - 2.5
est. lbs. to date - 93
This post is graphic. I feel like I should apologize for showing detailed photos of tampons and poop. But here's the thing. We need to know that when we go out to the beach to surf, like the picture above, or let our kids swim, that there's stuff washing in there that carries a lot of bacteria. Biological waste is a problem at my local beach. So far, and I've been at this less than a month, I've found: regularly...
1. condoms, condom wrappers
2. tampons
3. syringes
4. band-aids
This is how close these items are to the water. Unfortunately, it most likely came from the water and washed up this far. Still, it is very close to going back in, except, I picked it up, with a plastic bag. Ugh.
Sorry. Let's assume this is DOG WASTE. Although, I've got to tell you, I had my doubts. And yes, this is the worst thing I've had to pick up to date.
Dog waste, (and there are no dogs allowed on this beach), is a huge problem. I'll leave one factoid here:

1 gram of dog waste contains 23 million fecal coli form bacteria (

And if you want to read more, click here. See the photo below. This one was close to be washed in, but don't despair, it didn't. PHEW!

Day 13 - May 5, 2009

Life Guard Station 26, Ocean Park, Santa Monica
trash collected for 20 min.
est. lbs. today - 6
est. lbs. to date - 90.5
This post is a little different. I guess I forgot to take my usual beach shot to set the scene. After I'd finished collecting trash, a small flock of seagulls came and hovered over my head. If they weren't so beautiful, I'd be worried about the obvious. However, seeing these birds up close was amazing. I feel like people often overlook them for many reasons; one, they are common; two, they eat trash; three, they are considered pests that want your food. Take a look at the next few pictures. I hope you'll see them differently, at least here. 

Cute, but still trash.
I was in Orange County this weekend with friends taking their new puppies to the dog beach near Huntington Beach. We found our way to Rubio's Mexican Grill, and I got some water with my meal. As I looked at the bottle next to my two taco plate, I tried to place where I'd seen this bottle before. And then I remembered. On the beach, where plastic bottles don't belong. 

The top three kinds of trash found in the ocean are:
1. cigarette butts top the list.
2. candy wrappers, yup jolly ranchers etc.
3. fast food wrappers

Have you heard of the HUGE FLOATING TRASH ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC? Well, it's twice the size of THE UNITED STATES at the moment, Oprah recently covered this on her show 
click here to see pictures and a video.

A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said."

Part of David De Rothschild's voyage on the Plastiki, that I mentioned earlier in a post, is going to document it and take water samples. Here's the article I found the quote in, click here