Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 33 - July 3

Leo Carrillo State Beach, Malibu CA
trash collected by 2 people for 20 minutes
estimated trash collected today - 1.2
estimated trash collected to date - 193.4
Here is the trash collected by both of us out on this beach. Leo Carrillo is 30 min. or more north of Santa Monica Bay. I see a huge difference, don't you? Two days before we filled 5 or more bags in 20 min.. Today, just this. It was refreshing. I thought to collect here while we were on the beach for the day to see the difference, if any, of being farther from the city of Santa Monica. There is a big difference. 
The Water Bottle of the Day - even here, there are some to find. I am interested to see that this water bottle company supports an environmental non-profit. The American Forests.
It looks like a great program with a friendly interactive website. They have a carbon calculator so that you can see what your Carbon Foot Print is. 
I like this photograph. The bottom line of the can matches up with the horizon line of the water. But I would like to continue my train of thought from above. I think that corporations whose products contribute to marine debris should sponsor ocean conservation groups as well. Like the Long Beach Aquarium. It is an amazing place that we went to this week. There is a website to visit associated with them.
They are promoting Shark Conservation. Since 1975 and the release of Jaws, the public's attitude to sharks has taken a steep decline. This hasn't helped the cause to protect these amazing animals that keep the marine ecosystem in balance. They have been here for millions of years, but their numbers are dropping fast.
Why should you care about sharks you may ask? Maybe the only time you think about them is when you are in the water like the people above? I get it. So let me explain. 
"The Importance of Sharks in Maintaining Healthy Marine Ecosystems
Sharks have been swimming in the ocean for 400 million years, that's 100 million years before the dinosaurs appeared on land. They inhabit the oceans from its deep seas to its coastal wetlands and coral reefs. Sharks play a truly vital role in the maintaining the health if marine ecosystems, but today many species of sharks that are at the top of the food web, are in danger of extinction. While many people fear sharks, a greater fear should be the consequences of the loss of sharks will do to an already stressed ocean." The Long Beach Aquarium Brochure. 
If you want to feed sharks and rays, lorikeets and sea lions, and much more, please make a visit, and consider becoming a member, thanks. 

Day 32 - July 1

Life Guard Station 26, Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. by two people
estimated trash collected today - 9.8
estimated trash collected to date - 191.2
Water Bottle of the Day - I think that will be an official title given to the photograph I plan on including in every entry of at least one of the water bottles I find. I find more than one every time. 
"One person's waste could be another persons treasure." - The Plastiki Website
David de Rothschild and the Plastiki Expedition are leaving this summer on a boat made of mostly plastic-one-time-use water bottles to explore the huge trash gyre that is in the middle of the Pacific. I've mentioned this before, but if you want to check out their website, it promises to be in 3D very soon!
The remnants of a child's pizza party. Estimated feet to next trash can - 40  
We collected the highest weight of trash today since I started. This includes the handful of times Garen has come out to help me. He had to stop collecting early because he ran out of plastic bags to fill and he physically could not hold any more. I stock at least 5 - 6 bags for collection in my kit that I carry out to the beach. We went through all of my reserves. I think this may be a sign of summer. I want to go to the beach on the 5th to see what I find. I think it may be a tough visit. 
Garen and I have been on vacation this week so I haven't collected as much as I normally do. I got discouraged today as we did some number crunching and I realized that this project will most likely take the next 2 - 3 years. I swear I hadn't considered that when I started. I will finish. I must, I couldn't forgive myself if I stopped. But damn, that is going to be a lot of plastic bottle and sunset photographs. What am I going to write? Instead of fear, I'll look at this as an adventure. Who knows what the next few years hold for any of us. And if I'm right, I predict I will have picked up approximately a ton of trash by the time it is over. That's a cool thought. Although, it would be better if there wasn't a ton of trash to pick up in the first place.