Thursday, April 29, 2010

From 30,000 feet


I just met TED DANSON on my flight to NYC. I watched
Oceana's PSA from
my seat using the Wi-Fi connection on
American Airlines when I remembered seeing
him board the same plane! I tried
to tone down my
excitement about this cool coincidence
and calmly walked to business class to
introduce myself as one of Oceana's
"Ocean Hero finalists" for 2010.
He was very gracious, and sincere.
I have to say, that was a fun conversation to have.
I really love that he dedicates his time to helping
raise awareness for our oceans.
What a cool flight!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 116 - April 28, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
1.8 pounds
458.1 pounds total
So many exciting things to share with you in this post, but I wanted to first say that this will be my last post for a few days because I will be in Conn. for a family funeral this weekend.
I'll be able to collect again starting this Sunday.
Thanks for reading the Daily Ocean, and enjoy this post!
They've painted all the life guard towers groovy colors in the last few days. Looking great!

FIRST - I was named a finalist for the OCEAN HERO AWARD from OCEANA. Voting started today. Please help spread the word to vote.
I am exprememly honored and humbled to be listed with the other 5 adult finalists and 5 youth finalists. If you read all of their bios, you'll be very inspired too! It's a win for the ocean that Oceana is doing this. SO please vote - every vote Oceana gets 1$ - and that's a very good thing because they are:
"Oceana is the largest international Ocean Protection & Restoration Environmental advocacy group dedicated to protecting and restoring the world's oceans and ..."
It was an extremely windy day today, but like on all windy days, the only thing I find that can withstand the weather is...plastic. Lots of clear plastic wrappers get un-earthed. Plastic water bottle tops, straws and the occasional cigarette butt seem to have sticking power on even the most blustery days.

Check out this video that the Malloy Brothers did which can be found on the Plastic Pollution Coalition's site. PLASTIC GOT THERE FIRST is the title.

You can imagine what that means coming from two of the world's top professional surfers who scour the globe for pristine waves.
This week a man named Steve Mc Pherson contacted me about his project to collect, photograph, and catalog plastic found on beaches and in marine environments. You can send him your pictures to add to his efforts too.

He is an artist living in the UK that has been making art with plastic for the past 15 years!

I am asking beach combers, foragers and anyone else to send photos and location details of interesting Marine Plastic that they find beached during their wanderings of the shores of the world.

The project aims to document the people, places and plastic that litters our coastlines, maybe along the way it will provide some interesting or useful data, as well as hopefully bringing a greater awareness of the plastic pollution of our oceans and seas.
Here's his website:
My friend Lindsey Jurca is a teacher at ECHS Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale CA.

They are one of 6 schools in competition to have:

Here's their school's video that "caught the president's eye" :D How f%^**g cool is that!
Ocean Minded has the coolest suggestion attached to their apparel:
They ask you to pick up 10 pieces of trash whenever you go to your favorite beach, or out door place. Talk about positive corporate responsibility. This whole company in San Clemente was founded on love for the ocean. I'm a fan!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 115 - April 24, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
2.4 pounds
456.3 pounds total
Today I am happy to say, I was totally wrong about how much trash I was about to find when I walked out onto the beach.
It was a clear, beautiful Saturday. Usually, there is a lot of evidence that people have enjoyed themselves at the beach, but today I didn't find one cigarette butt, or plastic water bottle. I'm shocked, happy, and feeling pretty good about finding under three pounds of trash, including this Baja Fresh wrapper.
Here's an excerpt from a Kiss My Country post that I found really interesting:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day - April 22, 2010 with the Peace Troop

This is the Peace Troop. I had the good fortune to meet them last September at the Santa Monica Pier during the Day of Peace organized by Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots organization.

They are pictured above in October when they came out to life guard tower 26 to do a beach cleanup with me.

A little background on them - Mothers, Kelly and Sherry decided that the traditional Girl Scouts weren't environmentally active enough - and so they split to form the Peace Troop. In a word, awesome.

We spent Earth Day together watching the film Tapped that, "examines the role of the bottled water industry and its' effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil."
One of the troopers asked, "Why doesn't Obama stop them."

Them being the big bottled water corporations of Nestle, Coke and Pepsi.

"That's a good question," I said. There wasn't enough time at the end to come back to that question.....

But they did decide 3 things:
1. to go home and tell their family about what they learned from watching TAPPED.
2. to tell their friends at school tomorrow.
3. to write a certain popular LA TV talk show host, that shall remain nameless here, to reconsider having the director of Tapped, Stephanie Soechtig, on her show instead of caving to the pressures of her sponsor....Pepsi - well they left that last part out.

I think it was unanymous though that everyone was going to switch to, "one of those stainless steel reusable bottles." I told them about Kleen Kanteen and that you could find them at Whole Foods among other places. Finally - when we watched Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, CA being interviewed walking the remote Hawaiian Beach littered with single use plastic water bottles, every one got very quiet. We live in a coastal city. This segment hit close to home.

So Happy Earth Day to the Peace Troop and to the people who made TAPPED. It was a great way to spend this day. I'll leave you with this -

Fact from Tapped - "The US uses 80 million single use water bottles a day. The recycling rate world wide for these containers is about 50%, but the US falls behind at 20%."

The rest end up in landfills, and in the ocean.......

A message for you from the Peace Troop

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day114 - April 21, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
4.4 pounds
453.9 pounds total
I arrived to a 57 degree, windy beach thinking that there wouldn't be that much trash to collect tonight. Hey, there wasn't much out there anyway, just me, a runner or two, and a couple of gulls. I was wrong, there was plenty of trash....Most of it plastic, actually can't think of anything that I picked up today that wasn't made of plastic.
Which leads me to this picture. This picture is only funny - in a horrible kind of way - if you are an environmentalist. This picture was shot in a Sacramento Staples store when I traveled with Team Marine to our capital for Ocean's Day where they were honored with an Ocean Hero award. Check out their blog for more details. I have a post to come about it too!

Also - Lisa Boyle of the Plastic Pollution Coalition has written an interesting post on their blog about a panel that was held in Santa Monica a few weeks back called, The Politics of Plastic.
The only thing tough enough to withstand the windy weather on the beach? Plastic bits and pieces...

Sarah Newman wrote a piece for the Huffington Post called Ten Anti-Plastic Heroes.

I was so excited to see myself listed with Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish, The Green Bag Lady and Jordan Howard of Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, among others. Thanks Sarah!

Read more from Sarah on the Huffington Post, or on Take Part and follow her on twitter.

Team Marine has an incredible 13 min. short documentary called, "10 R's"
watch it here - or - here

Press Release by Team Marine member Valerie Wacker and Teacher Mentor Benjamin Kay

After over 500 hours of filming, editing, and reviewing four years of student photos and videos, Santa Monica High School’s Team Marine completed their biggest project of the year, a 14-minute, science-based documentary - “The 10 R’s” - highlighting the global plastic
marine debris crisis and ten sustainable solutions (the 10 R’s) to our single-use plastic addiction, and in general, to our negative human foot-print. Current issues covered in the film include plastic ingestion by organisms, entanglement, benthic smothering, the adsorption and release of toxic chemicals, biological magnification, loss of tourism, and corporate irresponsibility.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 113 - April 18, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
6.2 pounds
449.5 pounds total
I think these are melon flavored rolling papers. Can you say disgusting?!

April has been a tough month for me making progress on The Daily Ocean. I've been out of town for most of the last two weeks only to come home from my spring break trip with a cold.
I think this may be the 7th or 8th cold since Sept. and I am telling you, I'm over it. Anyone else feel like the age of the super bug is upon us?
I'd like to thank Danielle Davis for mentioning me in her article, "Five LA Women Bloggers Up To Green Good."
She has two projects going that she writes for
Your Daily Thread and Less Is More Balanced. Check those out too! Thanks for connecting Danielle.
This picture doesn't do justice to the mess I found on the beach tonight. It was strewn for as far as I could see with mostly plastic packaging and straws. It looked to me that the trash had come in from the water and been left at the high tide line as the surf retreated. 6.2 pounds in 20 minutes of wrappers that are milliliters thick is not a good feeling.
Kiss My Country Blog has a great post up about a filmmaker named Laura Seltzer who made a movie entitled, "Last boat Out" about Chesapeake Bay. It catalogs the fishermen in the bay whose way of life is threatened by the pollution there. Very interesting, and sad. It was shown to the U.S. Congress organized by the Congressional Water Caucas. Check it out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monteray Bay Aquarium with Team Marine

Monteray Bay Aquarium is a stand out place dedicated to raising awareness for all issues of ocean conservation. It was tremendous to see the aquarium buzzing with activity while taking in the ocean life there that is so well cared for.

Thank you to the aquarium for giving Team Marine free entry for the day!
A Weedy Sea Dragon - now my screensaver.
There are many signs strewn throughout the exhibits that are thought provoking and truthful.
Barnacles - can you see their legs?
One exhibit included objects sunk into the tank that would be found around a pier to demonstrate some of our contributions to marine debris pollution in the ocean and what it would look like submerged.
Sardines - this tank made me feel dizzy when I stood up close.
A Weedy Sea Dragon in action, and my first attempt at video blogging.

Day 112, April 9 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
6.2 pounds collected
443.3 pounds total
I've had a very full week that has led to feeling inspired, and hopeful about the state of our oceans. Don't get me wrong, the situation is grim, but taking 5 days to travel with Team Marine to Sacramento to lobby for legislation that supports our oceans, and beaches was the trip of a lifetime.
Environmental groups were out in force for Sacramento's Third Annual Ocean's Day - like Environment California. I received an email from them to a link where we can sign a petition in support of the bill passing through state congress right now to ban smoking on california state beaches.

Once passed though, we (the public), need to keep an eye out to demand that it is enforced. This doesn't address the problem of storm drains carrying a cities worth of cig. butts into the ocean, but hey it's a step in the right direction. Especially in light of the fact that:

"On one day in 2009, volunteers pulled 340,221 cigarette butts off California beaches. [1]"

Toxicity studies

SDSU public health researcher and CBAG Member Richard Gersberg evaluated the effects left-over cigarette butts have on marine life and found that the chemicals from just one filtered cigarette butt had the ability to kill half the fish living in a 1-liter container of water. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose-acetate, which is not biodegradable.

Roz Savage - Ocean Rower Extraordinaire - is setting off on the last leg of her Pacific Crossing to raise awareness for issues like plastic pollution in the ocean and global climate change.

She's an inspiration. I had the privilege of hearing her speak last night and I have to tell you she's amazing. To briefly re-cap part of her story, she wrote two obituaries years ago before she switched from a practical life that felt like a dead end, to "stepping off the edge of the known world", as she put it.

She wrote the obit. that would be shaped from the life she was living and an alternative obit. of the life she wanted to live. "One that left the planet in slightly better condition than when she found it." Well she has done that. And what a f&%&*ing cool idea. How brave, to write both obits. and have the courage to change.

Thank you Roz for the millions of people your story will touch, and the planet that will benefit from your courageous spirit and tremendous actions.

She also has a project about to launch called Eco Heroes - check that out and sign up too!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 111-April 3

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.5 pounds
437.1 pounds
Surfrider had a beach cleanup today at Tower 26 where I collect. They were out there at 9:00 a.m. so I was really interested to see how much would be there at the end of the day when Garen and I arrived at around 7:00 p.m. tonight.

It looked like they did a great job. The cleanup, and cold weather left only 1.5 pounds for us to gather. 1.5 pounds to many, but better than more.
Team Marine is receiving an Ocean Hero Award in Sacramento this Tues. for their Ocean's Day. They invited me to go with them which is really exciting! We leave tomorrow morning very, very early to bee line for the capitol. We'll be lobbying for various environmental Assembly Bills. One of which is:


I've covered EPR in The Daily Ocean before, but here is a summary of why I am in huge support of this bill:
"Summary of AB238
Would implement an Extended Producer Responsibility program in California that would require manufacturers increase the recyclability, and recycling, of their products, as well as reduce toxicity."
Californians Against Waste
While putting together a fact sheet for Team Marine to take to Sacramento, Megan and I got a chance to see a document titled, "The True Cost of Single-Use Bags"

Did you know:
" Plastic pollution threatens California’s ocean economy, valued at $43 billion. An estimated 408,000 jobs mostly in the tourism and recreation sectors are tied to the Ocean economy.[i]

[i] Kidlow, J. et al. (July 2005). “California’s Ocean Economy,” report to the California Resources Agency, prepared by the National Ocean Economics Program.

This will be my last post until Friday April 9th. We return from our camping/lobbying trip late Thurs. night. If I have access, and time, I'll send TWITTER updates on our lobbying adventures and other high-lights from our state capitol.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oceana's Ocean Hero Award Nomination

My friend Siel of the popular, funny, and highly informative blog - greenLAgirl - has nominated me for:

At the urging of some friends, I have decided to put a link on my blog in case you would like to nominate me too.

I am honored that Siel thought of me, and humbled by the support I have received so far.

Also - I encourage you to nominate other Ocean Heroes that you know too!

From now until April 19th - here is the nomination page.

If I get into the final 8, then it will be time to vote! I'll keep you posted.


Day 110 - March 31

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2.4 pounds
435.6 pounds total
It was W-I-N-D-Y today, but I like the beach in cooler weather with relatively few people.

The Daily Ocean "fun" fact - My average collection is 3.96 pounds
So let's call that 4 pounds in 20 minutes.
That is 1 pound every 5 minutes.
This is from a beach that is cleaned (raked by tractor) once a day &
has 10 - 15 trash cans between every life guard tower.

I was thinking about the beach when the waves come up and the wind rips down the shoreline. Its ability to erode anything is clear on days like this. But then another thought came to me.

We have made products lasting for minutes out of material that withstands this harsh environment perfectly. Does that make a lot of sense?
My friend Lindsey sent me an email about a fellow Santa Monican who has also become aware of the plastics polluting our beaches, Mark Armen's blopg - GULPABLE - check it out!!
OCEAN MINDED contacted me to show their support and see how they could get involved with The Daily Oceans beach cleaning efforts. I'm excited! They look like a really cool company who are sincerly dedicated to helping the ocean. Check them out!