Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 260 - Feb. 28, 2012

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

Community Count Day 206 - Dom Bonuccelli and the Lonely Planet TV Crew
trash collected for 20 min.
1.5 pounds
927.4 pounds total 


Last night, a film crew from Lonely Planet TV joined me on the beach for an interview. It was a lot of fun meeting their show's host Dom, and the rest of the gang out on the sand. They're doing an episode on Southern California, focusing on taking care of the environment and outdoor adventure. I'm honored that their Program Developer, Maria who follows my blog, suggested including The Daily Ocean in their travels. Thank you!

Dom and I discussed how sea turtles eat plastics that end up in the ocean, mistaking them for their favorite food - jellyfish. 

At Turtle Island Restoration Network, scientists calculated that 37% of leatherbacks (the most prehistoric looking, and giant of them all) have plastic inside them. 

This is Dom's prize find last night. The last three times I've gone out for a cleanup, I've found sand toys. And like most that I find, nothing seems to be the problem with this witchy bucket. 

My friend Harry (of the cool blog FLOTSOM DIARIES) left a comment on Day 259 describing a very under-priced sack of sand toys he saw that could be grabbed as an after thought on the way to the check out line. He wonders what's the incentive for parents to keep track of said plastic object that cost them less than a dollar in the first place? Nice point Harry. Convenience often equals conveniently left behind or forgotten.

My friend Stiv Wilson wrote an article for ALTERNET called, "7 DANGEROUS LIES ABOUT PLASTIC" It's well worth taking the time to educate yourself on the spin surrounding plastics and the rampant pollution caused by plastic. Nicely done Stiv!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 259 - Feb. 26, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
3.9 pounds
962 pounds total

Another sand toy deserted on the beach...this one, unlike the night I came out with the Girl Scouts, has no visible defect. 

My friend Russ at INTERNATIONAL BIRD RESCUE let me know recently that they've revamped their blog, highlighting their heroic, and consistent efforts to rescue sea birds of all varieties. If you love sea birds, if you love the ocean, if you care what's happening to our marine environment then please take a minute to read their blog, and support the work they're doing day after day to make a difference. 

San Fransisco finally banned the bag city wide. Yay! Effective Oct., 2012
They join over two dozen cities in the USA who have done the same...and counting. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Community Count Day 205 - Feb. 23, 2012

Community Count Day 205 
lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
2 pounds
925.9 pounds total 

The Daily Ocean combined total pounds of trash collected  - 1,884 pounds
Want to get involved? Here's how. 

On your mark, get set....go get some trash! All five girls in the local girl scout troop that met me at the beach for a cleanup raced off when I started the timer on my watch. I took this to be a good sign, and I was right. They were engaged, inquisitive and focused for 20 whole mintues, scouring the beach. 

"Is that a jellyfish?" asked one of them. I explained that it was plastic. We discussed one of the reasons to use less plastic packaging in your day-to-day life is because if the wrappers end up in a storm drain and then washed to the ocean, marine aminals eat this refuse and get sick. Jellyfish being the favorite food of sea turtles means plastic is particularly a problem for them. 

My contribution to the collection. The scouts were so fast, bending down to grab up every piece of trash we came upon, but the group passed by this shovel. I believe it may be because a sand toy doesn't register as trash in their minds. Why would someone leave behind a perfectly good digger? They must be coming back for it? Maybe they're just up the beach? It has to be someone's? I've learned that this isn't always true. On closer inspection, when I saw the crack in the pink plastic, I knew it had been apandoned, and I added it to my bag. 

A jolly rancher wrapper - yet another puzzling leftover to find on the beach. 
Top three most frequently found varieties of trash taken off the sand are:
1. cigarette butts
2. candy wrappers
3. fast food wrappers

A big thank you to all the girl scouts for coming out and for my friend Bailey who is one of their troop leaders for arranging the cleanup with me. I hope to see you out here again soon and thanks!!

Speaking of cigareete butts, my incredible friend Danielle who writes the blog, "It Starts With Me," collected her 40,000 cigarette butt the other day. 


She adds her collections to my Community Count and has contributed
 over 200 pounds and 120 days to the tally.

Danielle, thanks for the continued inspiration and friendship. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 258 - Feb. 22, 2012

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

What I saw at/on the beach tonight:
1. Valentine's Day balloons, like I did in Feb. on Day 99
2. cigarette butts
3. plastic straws
4. Wasabi Seaweed snack packaging from Trader Joes
5. clear plastic packaging

1. A father and two kids playing in the surf
2. Grey Whales spouting closer to shore than I'd ever seen!
3. A Sea Lion keeping an eye on the man fishing from shore, scarfing up loose bait
4. People stopping to tell fellow beach walkers that there were whales! 
5. A father teaching his 13 year old son how to surf at sunset

Federal funding is being cut to monitor beach water quality. Concerned? We should be. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 257 - Feb. 20, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.2 pounds 
956.6 pounds total 

A dispurbing email appeared in my inbox today titled,"100,000 GARBAGE BAGS WORTH OF TRASH WASHES INTO SAN FRANSISCO BAY EACH YEAR."

The assessment was conducted by the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association. 
This is powerful information to have. There are suggestions given to reduce liter, most of which hand sole responsibility over to the individual. 

While I agree that modifying my own habits reduces liter, and therefor keeps it out of the water, I would like to see more pressure put on companies that create the packaging we buy. 

Extended Producer Responsibility - in shorthand - companies who include reclaimation of their product packaging at the beginning of their business model. It's happening....very slowly. 

How many bags would the LA area fill? I cringe thinking about it. 

Stunning photographs of a "Cloud Tsunami" rolling over Florida appeared on MSNBC's photoblog last week. Incredible. 

People incorporate the beach into their everyday lives around here. I had a simular goal when I started The Daily Ocean in March of 2009. As time ticks on, I get selfconscious of how long my 365 non-consecutive goal has taken me. I mistakenly thought I'd breeze through this task in a little over a year. In actuality, it's taken much longer. I guess being away 3 and 1/2 months out of the last year can set you back...

But as I collected from the beach last night, a new acceptance came to me about the length of this project. The Daily Ocean HAS settled into my day-to-day life whether I'm collecting one day, or blogging the next, and even on the days inbetween posting cycles. This blog HAS inserted a measure of environmental action into my routine that is managable, and ongoing, no matter how long it takes me to get to my perceived "finish line." In the doing, I'm already there. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 256 - Feb. 18, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
4.3 pounds 
954.4 pounds total 

Little plastic gems like this one always hide in the debris at the high tide line. 

But on a positive note, these photographs of Bottlenose Dolphins catching a ride on a Humpback Whale astound me. You read that right. Now see for yourself. 

The kind folks at GARBO GRABBER sent me this nifty device to collect trash. It turns out this little gadget makes my collection go smoother, and I think I collect more because I am not stooping over, just cruising along snapping up debris. Thanks GARBO GRABBER - your little grabber rocks!

I've been thinking about our President since we saw his Marine 1 Chopper cruise over the beach last week. In fact, I've seen him fly over at least three times in the last year! My fantasy is that he's checking out the surf, thinking "man-o-man why does D.C. have to be on the East Coast?" He's a kick ass body surfer. Now who are you going to vote for? Really. Could we get someone better? I'm clearly biased.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 255 - Feb. 15, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5 pounds
950.1 pounds total 

The processor on my Panasonic LUMIX leaves a purple splotch on some of my photographs. Goodbye LUMIX. I thought I could live with the imperfection, but it took a night like this to realize that unwanted patches of purple light just won't due. The beach tonight was spectacular, contrasts of light and dark illuminated the landscape in dazzling ways every direction I looked. 

"Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there."
The picture below courtesy of ADVERTISERS WITHOUT BOARDERS

Thursday June 7, 2012
Dockweiler State Beach, LA
They are expecting 100 buses and 6,000 kids! 
They'll form an ariel picture within a giant shield saying : DEFEND THE SEA
Think they'll need volunteers? Keep an eye on their website to lend a hand.

A woman reached out to me on twitter to support her new book, "SAVE THE SEA!" Alejandra is an environmental journalist and writer. Her story is colorful and educational, getting the message out to kids that there's a lot of trash in the ocean. She includes how we can help protect this place we love that makes up most of our planet. 

Underwater Cinematographer, Mike deGruy passed away after a helicopter accident scouting locations for a new James Cameron documentary. 

Here's what executive director of HEAL THE OCEAN has to say about her friend in the Santa Barbara paper, The Independent. 

My husband Garen mentioned his passing to me this week. He was saddened to hear of his accident after spending time with Mike when he gave a presentation on the Santa Monica College campus last year. He was clearly a man of creativity, passion, and skill with a genuine love for the ocean. He will be missed. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 254 - Feb. 12, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.5 pounds 
945.1 pounds total 

Since I am outside the targeted audience for AXE, my first encounter with their advertising was last night when I found this bottle on the beach. One word: really?

Surfrider linked to the EPA's new water quality standards for beach monitoring. They would allow 1 in 28 beach goers to experience gastrointestinal illness after swimming and still call it a safe beach to swim at. The old standard was 8 in 1,000. Say what?! Here's the scoop.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 253 - Feb. 9, 2012

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

Here's an interesting site - The Museum of Liter. 

"A virtual museum who's mission is litter-prevention by ARTiculating litter with humor, art and kindness...the Museum goal is to go out of business because there's no more litter to showcase."

I may have to reenact my subscription just for this. 

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 252 - Feb. 7, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica
trash collected for 20 min. 
1.5 pounds
938.5 pounds total 

A Hippo? A blue, poisonous, amazon tree frog? I don't even know if such a critter exists, but this guy wasn't left to wallow in the sand

I got the chance to tour a local environmental organization in Kenya called, "Local Ocean." They do great work educating the community about sea turtles. Sea Turtles mistake plastics like the one above for their preferred food, jelly fish. Local Ocean rehabilitates injured turtles and releases more back to the Indian Ocean every year. 

A strange side effect of Somali Pirates off the coast is a recovering fishery. Big Bill Fishes are back in force off the Kenyan coast. 

Here's hoping there's also a positive surge for sea turtles. Although, I spent two days in the water and didn't see one turtle except the juvenile Loggerhead they invited me to help release. 

A minuscule amount of rain fell yesterday, but I still stayed out of the water this morning. The surf was pumping, and while I'd love to play in the storm surge, I bet the churning action of the waves stirred up all the bacteria from the run-off into a nice, soupy mess. It's easy to forget looking at this photograph that a pulsing metropolis perches right behind it. Los Angeles is 8 million people strong. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 251 - Feb. 4, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
1 pound
937 pounds total 

Famed race car driver, Leilani Munter is raising funds to drive a Cove themed car in the Daytona race this Feb. 18th. If she succeeds, the car will be the first ocean awareness themed car to race...ever. Give her a hand? Learn more here. 

As I was photographing this bandaid when a man stopped to ask, "Documenting medical waste?"
"Yes," I said. 
He looked puzzled. "For who?" 
"For me." I explained that I wrote the Daily Ocean, and some of the details. 
He seemed surprised. "Thanks. I'll check it out." 

Part of the reason I find collecting on the beach at sunset effective is that many people out on a walk to  enjoy the end of the day will stop, ask me what I'm up to, and I get to explain. 
Simple, easy, and I hope effective. 

My friends and I got tickets to see Cirque Du Soliel this Friday. When you buy your tickets, you can choose to donate to 1 Drop:
"ONE DROP is a charitable organization that develops integrated, innovative projects with an international scope, in which water plays a central role as a creative force in generating positive, sustainable effects for local and foreign populations and in the fight against poverty." 

I'm impressed with Cirque's efforts. They are supporting Heal the Bay's Aquarium while in town, as well as taking it one step further to funnel needed donations into international projects involving water.