Monday, November 14, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium's ONE TEEN SUMMIT

The Monterey Bay Aquarium had it's first annual Teen Summit: Oceans Need Everyone or O.N.E. 
It was my great honor to be their speaker Sat. night. 
I'm sitting at home after the experience inspired, and grateful to have been a park of the action. 
I met really cool, motivated students. The staff at M.B.A. were very welcoming. 
A huge thank you to all that participated!

At about 7:45 Sunday morning, I posed for a quick picture with my blue marble. Wallace J Nichols started the Blue Marble project in 2009. He has been responsible for a couple million marbles traveling the globe from person to person. 

I gave students blue marbles in the spirit of passing on his idea to hold the marble which represents our blue planet, take a moment to be grateful for the ocean, and then do one kind thing to help. 

breakfast with the Sea Spirits from Notre Dame High School

During breakfast, Garen and I got the chance to chat with the Sea Spirits club. They have a bunch of artistic ideas to help spread the word that disposable plastics damage the environment. I hope they keep in touch and let me know how it all develops! Great having breakfast with you!

I had the chance to speak to the participants who spent the night in the aquarium. I reiterated what I spoke about the night before. This quote, by author Anne Lammot embodies the spirit of what I said:

"Maybe what you have written will help others, will be a small part of the solution. You don’t even have to know how or in what way, but if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best that you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

More marbles went to the group from Truckee - Makea and Austin who were with J at Bioneers and were excited to see the Blue Marble project in action again!

Faith and I taking a picture together. She asked questions the night before, and came up to talk again the following day. Thank you Faith!

It was so much fun to talk to all of you after breakfast! One cool moment from our conversation was when Kennedy (in the middle in red) told me that she wanted to pursue law, but was also into sciences. I asked her if she had ever heard of the NRDC - National Resource Defense Council. 
"No!" she said as a huge smile, and visible light bulb turned on over her head. It hadn't occurred to her that she could pursue both. So here's that link, NRDC and stay in touch!

participants scooping up marbles to pass around when they return home

This is a coffin lid that we hope was a discarded Halloween smartly re-purposed with this cool sign. I liked the fish bones and glued found pieces of plastic lining the top. These guys were funny, enthusiastic and creative. Thanks for stopping to talk after breakfast and good luck!

A Cyprus Tree lining the trail behind us after we left the aquarium for a morning walk.

After the students took off at 8:30, Garen and I spent an hour along the Pacific Grove trail that runs along the coast. What a wonderful way to enjoy a Sunday morning!

The coast lining Monterey Bay is breathtaking. One look and you see several species highlighted inside the aquarium right before your eyes. 
A few dozen harbor seals lined the beach to the right of this photograph. 

The Standford University Marine Lab

Another thank you to Garen for coming with me to Monterey, driving all the way up to the San Jose airport, showing me so much support,  and lending his photography skills.

A special thank you to my Dad who came all the way from NYC, throwing in a few work meetings on Thurs. and Fri. so he could be here. 

the back of Monterey Bay Aquarium

Around 9:30 we went back into the aquarium to see the world class exhibits again. 

view from the second floor inside the aquarium

a sardine bait ball - seen by most humans only from the surface while sea birds pick it off

This artist cuts out seaweed, and algae forms from plastic bottles. Beautiful.

Jacques! (Nemo reference...)

A grey whale hangs in the atrium near the entrance. 

For my friend Danielle from It Starts With Me. She was in town briefly as part of her family trip to Northern California. Our paths crossed at an Italian Restaurant after this photograph was taken. It really made my day to see her, her husband Aaron, and their three beautiful kids. I wish we could do that more often, but since she's in N.C. and we're in CA, I'll have to look forward to the next time we're brought together. I know it will happen again!

There's no record of a Hammerhead Shark EVER biting a person.

And so my weekend in Monterey came to an end. I sped home to see how our dog Kona was doing since he hurt his back. He's lying next to me on the couch as I type, napping with our other dog Kayla. Our cat Meera is lying behind me. 

I'm watching the sun set rapidly from our living room window in Santa Monica, reflecting on family and being home. It occurs to me that this weekend I met part of a growing, extended family who have found each other because of their love for the ocean, and for the planet. They will no doubt make sweeping changes to save, protect, and preserve our collective home. 


  1. Sara this is all so beautiful...the photos, your experience, the quote especially touched me. I'm reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird right now. I wonder if it's in that book.

    I'm so glad you shared this with me. Think of all you do often. You LivingOutLoud. You inspire me.

  2. Thank You Sarah for introducing the Blue Marble Project. Great way to carry the message about saving the planet.

  3. Bernie

    The man behind the amazing blue marble project is on the cover of Outside Magazine this month! Wallace J Nichols - check it out! And thanks for your sweet comment.

  4. Jeri -

    that quote IS in Bird By Bird! I love that freakin' book! Can't wait till you read the quote. I have it taped to the wall of my office. Helpful to remember when you are looking at a blank page. Which reminds me, time to get offline and go work on my new first draft!

    Thanks for the comment and glad you liked the post about the weekend. Knew you would :)

  5. That's a great quote by Anne Lammot. I read the book years ago, but have forgotten many of the great insights, including this one. Also, your pics are gorgeous. And the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Wow.

  6. Sara,
    Thanks again for coming to the Summit! It was so great to meet you and I must say that people around here are still raving about you and how absolutely inspired everyone one after hearing you talk!

  7. Island Mom - thanks for the compliment on my photographs, and for taking the time to write me a comment!

  8. Cassy -
    You're so very welcome! Great to meet you too, and I am still inspired by the experience too. I expect I will be for a long time. Thanks again for inviting me!

  9. Great blog. Thanks for sharing your Teen Summit experience and The Blue Marble project. It's great to see so many young people involved in the cause.
    Beautiful photos, I love that quote from Anne Lamott.

  10. Hi Sarah, I love your quote by Anne Lammot....and that funky hat of yours! :) Vicky