Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 145 - August 30, 2010

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.9 pounds
595.5 pounds total

I'm not surprised to find this on the beach today. It's summertime which means thirsty people fill the beach.

I am going to be on a the radio! My friend Heather Lounsbury - acupuncturist, nutritionist, and herbalist here in Santa Monica - has a great radio program that she hosts called, "Live Natural, Live Well," on BLOGTALK RADIO. She'll interview me in Sept. and when she does I'll put a link to it on The Daily Ocean. But in the meantime, check out her playlist of previous shows.

My friend Danielle of the blog It Starts With Me, in North Carolina was inspired by The Daily Ocean to start a spin off called Our Daily Ocean.

Her mission is to pick up cigarette butts off the beach in Wilmington NC. So far in just 5 days she has collected 1,402. Holy smokes! BA BOOM CHI! Sorry, couldn't resist.

That's a lot of butts...Her hope is that they will ban smoking on the beach. I hope it works, but the picture above was taken right smack in the middle of our smoke-free beach just last night.
My friend Siel of green LA girl highlighted Beth Terry's facebook page called, "Plastic Crap Wall of Shame." Beth also blogs at Fake Plastic Fish. Today's product highlight was, as Siel puts it, "A one-serving “sensible gourmet snack” with a plastic cup of cheese goo and a trio individually plastic-wrapped pretzel sticks — all encased in a plastic clam shell!"


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 144 - August 29, 2010

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
4.9 pounds
593.6 pounds total
Sustainable Works is an incredible organization with their offices at Santa Monica College: in their own words...

"Sustainable Works is a non-profit environmental education organization and a project of Community Partners. Our mission is to foster a culture of sustainability in cities, colleges, and businesses."

They have a fundraiser in a couple of weeks and I have been asked to put up photographs from this blog for it. I am very excited to be a part of this. Here's more information on this "eco-fabulous" event
This is a used diaper nicely wrapped into a tight little bundle, and then left on the beach.
If you are expecting, or have a baby you may have already thought this through: disposable or washable? This is an interesting, and somewhat obvious fact I took from a website debating the pros and cons of both.

Well what happens when that diaper goes into the ocean instead? Same thing that happens when dog poop gets in there. We have a bacteria laden marine environment that causes humans to get sick with all kinds of wonderful things: skin rashes, flu-like symptoms, ear eye nose and throat infections, gastro-intestinal issues...yummy.
It wasn't even 8:00 yet when I took this photograph. Summer is coming to a close...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 143 - August 24, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
3.8 pounds
588.7 pounds total

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
4.2 pounds
354.7 pounds total
Whitney is a local environmentally conscious filmmaker - blogger - and vegan advocate extraordinaire.
She writes a great blog, ECO VEGAN GAL.

Heather is a local acupuncturist - nutritionist - and green radio host of her own show on blogtalkradio: "On my radio program, I give sound, practical advice on how to live a healthier, greener, and more fulfilling life."
She also has a great website called: LiveNaturalLiveWell
OK, who has Jennifer Aniston's email address? Manger's email? Something? come on Jen - PLEASE STOP ENDORSING BOTTLED WATER

Whitney brought this really cool trash picker. It is called the "Gopher," and I will be on the look out for one of these jems. It picks up tiny bits of plastic with very little effort. Could save my back some grief....
The Styrofoam cup....people bring them to the beach all the time, although it still stumps me to see them out here.


Jessica from Heal the Bay, the sponsor of AB 1998, wrote a great piece that Your Daily Thread put up today. They used a photograph I took of a single use plastic bag on Aug. 23 - yup that is just two days ago. Here's the link.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 142 - August 23, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
3.8 pounds
584.9 pounds total

Please go to Heal The Bay today to find out how to help pass California's law coming to the Senate floor this week!
AB 1998 - Single Use Plastic Bag reduction Act
by Santa Monica Assembly Member Julia Brownley. If it passes, it will be the first comprehensive state wide legislation to regulate these "urban tumbleweeds."
Good for the ocean
Good for California's 43 BILLION dollar ocean economy
Oh look! Another single use plastic bag. 2 in 20 minutes, but I saw many more being used and since I went to the beach earlier than usual when people were still camped out on the sand, I have no idea if all of those folks took their trash with them. One reason I like going around sunset....
Another reason I like being out on the beach towards the very end of the day is that it is hot walking around in regular clothes with everyone else in the water! And although I am sure it helps that people see what I am doing, i have to say I feel a little self conscious roaming around people's blankets and towels.....
The waves for body surfing were absolutely perfect yesterday.

Disturbing fact about single use plastic bags - in LA county we use 6 BILLION a year. Less than 5% get recycled. Even if you had the best recycling rate in the world - which is about 2/3 - you still have 2 BILLION plastic bags that don't biodegrade EVER that choke the landfills and ruin our ocean's habitats....let's give our state Senators a call, shall we?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Community Count - Day 48 - Jamie, Panama City FL


Thank you to Jamie from Panama City, FL for sending in this Community Count post. She found me through a blog on a similar mission to The Daily Ocean, The Flotsam Diaries. The Flotsam Diaries are one man's quest to document what is washing up on the Atlantic shores of Southern Maine.

Thank you for your efforts Harry! So glad to have found your blog.

Below is the impromptu beach cleanup adventure of Jamie, and her neighbors 10 year old daughter who has very good ideas....Read on!

Jamie has a cool blog called, "Southside Atlanta Memories" - check it out, especially if you feel an affinity with the Atlanta/Florida juncture.

Friday afternoon I went across the street to see my neighbor, who is recovering from an emergency appendectomy.
It was late in the afternoon, but I still had energy to burn, and from the looks of it so did her 10 year old daughter.
"Wanna go walk on the beach a little?" I asked innocently.

"I'll probably pick up a few bottle caps and plastic stuff...Is that OK?" I asked the mom.
"Sure..." groggily. They even had a Target bag right there in the trash can waiting to redeem its sordid existence, like a Quisling in reverse.

"So which way?" I asked Marian, my young comrade in bag.
"That." pointing to the west, toward the only place some of you west coasters may have possibly heard of,
Club La Vela (of MTV Spring Break fame.)

Immediately our search was rewarded by clear plastic bottle caps that I have previously identified as matching the water bottles given out by BP contractors to their allegedly spottily paid workers who roam the tide line like dispirited sand people.

Marian is great company, keeping up her end of the conversation so well I can concentrate of being as brain dead as I usually am by Friday afternoon.

"You know we should all come down here at the same time and EVERYONE pick up trash together!" says she.

Surprised-out of the mouths of babes, and all, I butt in,"What a great idea! On September 25th, "we're" going to do that. People from everywhere are going to go to their beaches and do exactly what we're doing right now." I put "we' in parenthesis because there is an ICC already scheduled for the
Pier Park area, but I'd personally kinda like to do one here on "our" beach here on the east end. Any takers?

Panama City, FL looking west..one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

This "clean up" was totally impromptu-I had no thought for how long we'd be out. So when eco girl decided it was time to turn around and go home, (not long after picking up a dead chofer which had looked for all the world like the torn off corner of a plastic candy wrapper) I was OK with that.

And our bag was full. There are county maintained blue trash cans on the beach where I could have dumped my trove, so to speak, but I'd already gotten the idea that this little trip could be my "letter to the other coast" so I wanted to take our goodies home to photograph.

Here, dear reader; our offerings to you. The fruit of about- yes, 20 minutes of walking (albeit after tropical winds spending a week in our Gulf) on about one half - three quarters of a mile of
Panama City Beach, FL.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 141 - August 20, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
13.5 pounds
Meet the author of AB 1998, Representative Julia Brownley. Hear her speak about getting her Plastic Bag Reduction Act passed this month in CA, and what you can do to help.
The average weight of one Daily Ocean cleanup is 4.1 pounds of trash -- mostly plastic -- in 20 minutes. And lets face it, plastic wrappers, bottles and other disposable plastic items don't often weigh too, too much...
My friend Danielle is on a mission to get cigarette butts banned in North Carolina. She's on Day 4, and it is staggering how many she finds in 20 min. She weighs all the trash she collects so I can add her to the Community Collection of The Daily Ocean. Then she separates out and counts the butts. GO DANIELLE!!
See her post on her fabulous blog, "IT STARTS WITH ME."

"20 minutes on August 18, 2010
Litter picked up by weight: 2 lbs 8 oz
Cigarette butts: 215

Total number of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 4 days: 1,167"

A very interesting article popped up on the YAHOO homepage today. It talked about the "garbage patch" in the Atlantic Ocean. The Sea Education Association published an article about their findings in the journal, SCIENCE:

I try to keep my emotions about what I do here on The Daily Ocean to a minimum in my posts. I'd rather let what I find speak for itself. However, tonight it is hard to lift the heavy feeling that settled over me as I lugged the trash off the beach to my car so that I could weigh it.

13.5 pounds in 20 minutes is reverberating around in my head, making it hard to think about much else.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Community Collection - Day 46 - Jennifer Smith


A big thank you to Jennifer Smith who took time out of her family vacation to do a Daily Ocean style beach cleanup. I've added her findings to the Community Count. You can become a part of it too. Leave me a comment, or email me and I will tell you how. Directions are also listed on the right side of my blog's front page when you scroll down.

Anyway, Jennifer gave us an interesting look at "the largest freshwater lake," in the world. Read on to learn about her experience out there in Northern Minnesota. Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

You can also go to Kiss My Country to see more pictures from her collection. Thank you also to the Kiss My Country blog, whose mission is to raise awareness to protect the places we love, for connecting Jennifer with The Daily Ocean.

I was raised in Minnesota, yet 20 years after leaving to explore the globe, I’ve discovered a little piece of heaven that exists in the northernmost reaches of the state. Driving northeast from Duluth, Highway 61 follows the North Shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. The shoreline here is nothing short of majestic.

I arrived in Lutsen, a small village about 60 miles from the Canadian border for a family vacation. Inspired by my friends at KissMyCountry and The Daily Ocean blog, I decided to do a beach clean up on one of the North Shore beaches. Never having been to the area, I wasn’t sure what condition I would find the beaches in. Much of the shoreline here is rocky cliffs, with expansive gravel beaches at the points where rivers cascade into the epic lake. I reached out to the SurfRider Foundation, Superior Chapter for some tips on where to go. One of their suggestions was Kadunce Creek Beach.

Looking out across the lake, you cannot see the other side. You don’t feel like you are on a lake, but rather a fresh water sea. It is truly awe-inspiring. I never guessed that not finding trash would be an issue for my first beach clean up, but I am thrilled to report that was indeed the case. The rhythm of the waves hitting the shore was a perfect accompaniment to the soft sun and gusty breeze.
I walked the beach with my 7-year-old son for 20 minutes. In that time we found two small fragments of paper towels and one small plastic wrapper. That’s it! Not even enough to weigh. There was a trash receptacle at the parking lot where we left our meager findings.
We stopped in Grand Marais for lunch. Seeing the town beach right next to the harbor, I was curious if I would find the beach in the same immaculate condition as Kadunce Creek. We decided to spend another 20 minutes cleaning up whatever we could find. As it turns out, we had more to pick up here. Walking the beach, the first thing I noticed was the number of cigarette butts… one after another. We also found a plethora of clear plastic straws. This is a tourist area, and I’m guessing one of the neighboring shops gives these out with their drinks. It’s just a shame that they didn’t make it to one of the numerous trash cans lining the beach. Aside from the straws and cigarette butts, we found a lone plastic clog and an action figure.

Minnesota is known for its friendly people, and as we picked up trash, many of the beach goers asked us what were doing. When we explained our effort, they were appreciative and encouraging. Even with the glut of cigarette butts, in the end we collected just 9.6 ounces of trash.

Even though it turned out there wasn’t a lot of work for us to do cleaning beaches on Lake Superior, I am grateful for the experience. As a mother as well as a woman who loves and enjoys our planet, I strive for ways to teach environmental stewardship to my son. The following day, we hiked a forest trail. We came to a bridge across a creek and my son pointed out a plastic cup left by a previous hiker. He said, “Mom, look, trash. We better pick it up and take it back to the garbage can with us.” Ahhh… a small success. I was proud of him and thankful for his attitude.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 140 - August 17, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
5.1 pounds
567.6 pounds total
"Green" Street plastic water bottle?

My friend Danielle has completed Day 3 of her Daily Ocean collection of cigarette butts and other trash in North Carolina. IT STARTS WITH ME - check it out!

This was about to be a sea gull snack. But I got it instead...phew!

Another amazing blog was brought to my attention this week when it's creator left me a comment on a Daily Ocean post. Harry lives in Southern Maine and has been chronicling the trash that he finds on his east coast beaches.

"Amazing that some of the sunrises I capture on my beach become the sunset on yours."
- Harry

Later on in this post you will see a message from a woman in FL doing a similar collection and chronicling it. Let's start a beach cleanup revolution?!? YOU WITH ME :D
Ahhh...plastic, plastic, plastic. Not a day goes by out here without finding some of this.

Here's a cool group of folks called, "Coastal Footprint." They are traveling 10,000 miles n 2010 to,

"Coastal Footprint is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to further scientific knowledge concerning the transport of micro-plastic debris in oceanic waters, prevent plastic from reaching the ocean, and remove anthropogenic debris from coastal areas."

Good luck guys! See their journey at COASTALFOOTPRINT.ORG

I love sea gulls. They are so well dressed! Look how beautiful this bird looks in the sand.

As I logged onto YAHOO today, my friend and fellow LA blogger, was on the Green section of YAHOO for her blog, "A Dress A Day."
Awesome Marisa!

On a dollar a day, she is creating beautiful dresses out of thrift store finds. Her goal?
1 dollar - 1 new dress everyday - for 1 year.
We had lunch a few months back, so I was so excited to she her up here this morning. Congrats!
The Daily Ocean was listed on a blog today as one of the "50 Best Blogs Leading Ocean Acidification Awareness." I was totally excited.

My husband is a coral biologist who just sent in a National Science Foundation grant to study Ocean Acidification on corals in Taiwan next year with his friend Peter who is a Marine Bio. professor at Cal State Northridge. I have a feeling that if they get their grant, The Daily Ocean will continue to earn its spot on this list.
Thanks to the Masters in Public Administration website for including me in your post today.
I got this cool email the other day from Jeannie in Panama City Beach, FL. Looks like there are a bunch of folks out on the beaches with a similar idea to The Daily Ocean and I am so excited to connect with all of them!

Here's what she had to say: (she started her blog since the Gulf BP oil disaster...)

"When the explosion happened, they worried about the people, and the beaches, and wondered how they could help. (her friends who knew she lived in FL)
Since I run on the beach almost every day, I noticed mainly that we, thank God, had no oil, but we have plenty of dolphin and sea turtle killing garbage all over the world's most beautiful beaches.

I have featured the really murderous stuff, figuring to pick my battles, as well as having concern that we here were at one point seeing a concentration of larger creatures that were being driven out of their home bases."

Thanks Jeannie for contacting me. Send me the URL of your blog and I will post it ASAP

Monday, August 16, 2010


Courtesy of Heal the Bay (and co-author of the Bag Ban AB 1998)
Watch - Spread the word, and come on -- call your State Sen. please oh please oh please!!! Tell them you support AB 1998 and you would like them to vote for it too!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 139 - August 13, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.5 pounds
562.5 total

Day 43
Anna C. - Thank you Anna!
2 pounds
336.8 pounds total
I hadn't noticed that the front of our life guard towers said, "Proudly presented by: deepwaterhorizonresponse.com - Help the Gulf Coast" - made me smile to see this written.

One organization helping the birds affected by the BP oil disaster is the International Bird Rescue Research Center that is now in the Gulf on location, but their home base is "down the beach" in Longbeach CA.

Their founder and director Jay Halcomb won Oceana's Ocean Hero Award this year, and rightly so. On tuesday they released "62 clean, healthy Gulf oil spill birds..." into Atchafalaya State Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is far enough away from the heart of the spill, but will serve as a suitible habitat for the birds. Job well done everyone at the IBRRC!
Meanwhile -- at a press conference for AB 1998 today - Andy Keller of Chico Bag had this to say:

"Have you kicked your bag habit?" - Andy Keller, founder Chico Bag
A person in a lifetime will use 45,000 single use plastic bags. The average American uses 100 a year.....BAG MONSTER BLOG
"Plastic bags are not free. When you go to the store, the cost of the "free" plastic bag is embedded in your grocceries." - Lisa Boyle, Plastic Pollution Coalition

We use 19 billion single use plastic bags in California in one year! Holy S&^%T!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 138 - August 11, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.2 pounds
561 total

Day 42
Mark Armen of Gulpable & The Bait Tank, Robey Clark - Graphic Designer
4 pounds
334.8 pounds total

True - this syringe doesn't have a needle, and it probably never did. It is called an Irrigator, however when I find used medical equipment on the beach I feel disturbed...
Two things about this photograph get my attention.

1. The footprints and their proximity to the plastic cup...
2. The proximity of the plastic cup to the water...

Hmm....I know this was probably left by a fisherman surfcasting from the beach, but I find it funny that there is a plastic top left behind labeled, "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION."

Mark and Robey at the end of our 20 minutes. Together we got 5.2 pounds off the beach.
Mark is on a mission to get cigarette butts out of the ocean and save fish. Check out his project that Roby helped design called, "The Bait Tank."

Interesting, well disturbing, facts about cigarette butts: (from Mark's site for The Bait Tank)

In 2009, Professor Richard Gersberg of San Diego State University found that the toxins in littered cigarette butts leach out and have the potential to kill fish. The chemicals from just one filtered cigarette butt had the ability to kill half the fish living in a 1-liter container of water (source: www.cigwaste.org).

Cigarette litter is also the leading contributor (by number of items) to plastic pollution in communities, waterways, and oceans. Cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable; rather made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic that never fully decomposes.

I know I harp on single use plastic water bottles a lot. Hey, I find a lot of them. Quiz: Can you spot the "greenwashing" on Dasani's label?

Fact - recycling centers will not take plastics made from mixed sources. SO for example if a bottle is made from plant based polymers, and petroleum based polymers - then it can not be recycled. I will do my homework and get back to you, but I am pretty sure that the above bottle is only partly a "plant bottle."
A cause for celebration: