Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 272 - March 30, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
3.8 pounds 
1,002.4 pounds collected total 

I can hardly believe it. Let's break it down. 

Since then, I've walked 5,440 minutes on this beach collecting trash, 20 minutes at a time, which equals just over 90 hours, or for nearly 4 days straight. 

That sounds insane to me! The point being it felt like effort, yes of course, 
but I did it in the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality. 

Sometimes I wanted to call it quits, sometimes I couldn't wait to get back out for another cleanup. 

As with any commitment, my feelings fluctuated, but as I look back and add together the tally of pounds of trash I've taken off the beach, I am oh-so-glad I stuck it out, 20 minutes at a time. 

Many dolphins are severely ill and dying from the BP oil spill in the Gulf. 

If you are a local, you may want to check ZJ Boarding House's website for the next film screening. 

They set up a screen on the lawn of the Heritage Museum last night, which is across Main St. from them in Santa Monica, and played two flicks for free. 

One was the inspiring COME HELL OR HIGH WATER by Keith Malloy about body surfing. Being part of the "plight of the torpedo people" myself, I'd leave Teahupoo for Mark Cunningham 
 but I will have to try to spiral in a barrel and nail it by summer's end. 

My friends and I have some work to do down at tower 26. 
Come on warmer weather and water temperatures, let's get a move on!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 271 - March 27, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
4.4 pounds of trash 
998.6 pounds total 

Sara - cigarette cleanup #7
10 cigarette butts collected in 20 min. 
85 cigarette butts total

Danielle - cigarette cleanup #6

Flip this plastic bit and you have a question mark. The question it raises in my mind is this - Is it okay with me that our plastic flotsam is digested by countless marine animals and birds, causing injury and death? No. What do I do about it? Well, this blog, and reduce the amount of stuff that comes along with plastic bobbles, and single-use packaging for starters. 

"The pyramids will fade and great languages will be lost before plastic degrades." - Actress Kyra Sedgwick discussing the "plastic soup" that our oceans have become with Leila Monroe of the NRDC on MSNBC. Here's the link to their effective, and thought provoking interview. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 270 - March 23, 2012

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

I collected only two cigarette butts during last night's twenty minute cleanup. Across the country in North Carolina, my friend Danielle went out for the same amount of time on her local beach and collected 218. A local pro-surfer came out with them and collected 158. This is the starkest contrast to date. Cigarette smoking is banned on Santa Monica's beaches, and not in North Carolina. 

Walking back to the car, I knew the bag felt heavy. More to the point, it was heavy with flimsy plastic food wrappers and other plastic film. These items weigh very little by themselves. The sunset made a sharp contrast to the seven and a half pounds I collected in twenty minutes from a beach where I'm regularly in the water. Sometimes this beach cleanup project weighs me down. 

It is my pleasure to pass on the good news that the CA Supreme Court upheld LA's Plastic Bag Ban! Read this post from Surfrider to learn more. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 269 - March 21, 2012

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

Sara - 20 min. Santa Monica Beach cleanup #5 - 16 cigarette butts
Danielle - 20 min. Wrightsville Beach, N.C. cleanup #5 - 394 cigarette butts

I've got a bunch of news and links to share today. Mc Donald's launches a pilot program to get rid of polystyrene cups from their restaurants. Hooray! Here's the buzz about it on Green Biz. 

Happy World Water Day. The UN is focusing this year's theme on Water and Food Security for the 7 billion people that need to be fed. We're expecting world population to reach 9 billion by 2050. And if you don't think this has to do with the ocean, think about the fertilizer and pesticide runoff heading downhill, or downstream into seawater across the world. 

The nation of Kiribati could be the world's first "climate-induced migration." As sea levels rise, their president is engaging in talks with nearby Fiji to buy land that would house Kiribati's citizens. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 268 - March 15 - 2012

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

Sara - 
cigarette butt count #4 - 17 in 20 min. 
total - 57 cigarette butts collected in 4 beach cleanups

Danielle - 
cigarette butt count #2 - 113 in 20 min. 
total - 571 cigarette butts collected in 2 beach cleanups

A pro-surfer from Wrightsville, N.C. who lives in Oceanside, CA
cigarette butt count #1 - 42 in 20 min. 
he'll do another cleanup from Mexico next! 

Aluminum cans have a lining. This lining contains a toxic chemical, BPA or Bisphenol A.
BPA has been present in hard plastics, beverage cans and other food packaging since the 1960's. 

The FDA says it has, "...concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, 
and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children." 

Next time you're grabbing a beverage at the STOP-N'-GO 
maybe you want to reach for a glass container?

When I see the Coke Polar Bear Campaign advertising, my internal voice screams, "Green-washing!" To be fair, I haven't actually looked it up, and so here I go...back in a moment...(insert Jeopardy music here) 

OK, I'm back. I couldn't find the SAVE THE POLAR BEAR campaign on their website. Frankly, I found it difficult to look for long. As soon as I clicked, "sustainability" I was berated with how wonderful they are at reducing their plastic use, how they have this new bottle that's part plant based (and therefor can't be mixed into recycling batches with the rest of the plastic bottles not containing plant-based petroleum), and so on. 

I gave up my open-minded search, returning to my original notion now confirmed. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 267 - March 13, 2012

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

For my last 100 20 min. cleanups, I'm counting the number of cigarette butts I find to help my friend Danielle who writes, It Starts With Me collect comparative data from a beach that bans smoking, Santa Monica, and the local beaches that allow smoking in her Wrightsville Beach, N.C. community. 

cleanup #3 - 17 cigarette butts
total number - 40

Danielle collected over 400 in one 20 min. cleanup the other day. The numbers speak for themselves. 

Los Angeles Bag Ban update - 

From Environement CA - "Next week, a committee is convening to decide whether to move forward on the proposed bag ban that would cover all of L.A. This would be huge. If they make the right decision next week, we could see a bag ban pass through the City Council before the end of the month.

As you can imagine, with the stakes this high, the American Chemistry Council and out-of-state oil and chemical 
companies like Exxon and Dupont are spending big bucks to try to block what could be a historic win for our ocean.
The opposition is ruthless, and well-funded. But we’re right — and thanks to you, we’re hundreds of thousands of people strong.

With your help, we can win the biggest victory yet for our ocean." 

It's been a year since the devastating tsunami in Japan. 
This short, thoughtful post from BEACHEDART  in Germany made me take another moment to think of all the people and animals that have been affected by the tragedy. 

There's a new documentry coming out called, "PLASTIC OCEANS." Here's the trailer on Vimeo. I don't agree with a few of their points of view. Let me know what you think. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 266 - March 11, 2012

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

13 cigarette butts 
23 cigarette butts in 2 cleanups

I mentioned in Day 265 that my friend Danielle who writes, It Starts With Me, and I are teaming up. She has already added a hefty 240 pounds of liter by weight to the Daily Ocean's Community Count. Her focus amongst all the liter she collects from her Wrightsville Beach Community in N.C. is cigarette butts. The local government shot down an ordinance to ban smoking from the beaches last Thurs. even though Danielle has collected over 40,000 butts from their sand! 

SO we're doing a little compare and contrast test. For my last 100 Daily Ocean cleanups, I will keep a tally of how many cigarette butts I find from a beach where smoking is banned. 
Cleanup number two and already the evidence is overwhelming. 
13 cigarette butts in 20 min. 
23 butts in 2 cleanups.

Danielle's gone out once since we made this pact and she collected over 400! 
Her average is 17 a minute! 

The numbers speak for themselves.

This organization suggests three concrete ways to help the ocean right on their website, 

I can do all of their suggestions, even number three. Heal the Bay, a local non-profit, works tirelessly to enact, and support California's Marine Protected Areas. I support Heal the Bay, I support these sanctuaries that allow the marine life to rebound. If I do all three with real persistence, I feel better about the state of affairs in our marine world. Join me?

G2 Gallery in Venice had a show including his work. 
I grabbed a postcard and looked him up online. 
If you like photography, the outdoors, animals, 
and the natural world please check this man out. His work is astounding. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 265 - March 10, 2012

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

10 cigarette butts 
**For my remaining 100 cleanups, I am counting cigarette butts collected to help my friend Danielle show her local North Carolina Government Officials the difference between a beach where smoking is banned, and how many butts are found in 20 minutes where smoking is allowed. 

She writes the incredibly inspiring blog, IT STARTS WITH ME.

Danielle and I went out last night on our respective coasts for cleanup number 265. 
100 cleanups to go and counting! It feels great to start the last 100 countdown. 
And it was a fun idea that Danielle had to do a joint cleanup with me to celebrate. 

She's done 123, 20 min. cleanups herself, adding the pounds collected to the Community Count portion of this blog, while totally making the endeavor her own. 

She focuses on cigarette butts from her local Wrightsville Beaches in N.C., 
because on those beaches, there are thousands! 

This past Thursday, the Board of Aldermen in Wrightsville voted down a proposed smoking ban despite the 1,200 signatures collected, and the many people in attendance to show their support. 

One Alder-woman told Danielle, "I pick up cigarettes on the beach all the time, I just don't bring them to a meeting." Her barbed words speak to her character all on their own. All I would say is that if I were a voting resident, she would not be getting a check from me on the ballot box come re-election. 

(see photo from Day 264 - people aren't the only ones who step around plastic, the difference is we make it, we can pick it up, and we can change our lives to include less of it.)

But here's what Danielle and I came up with after talking yesterday. We're stepping up our collaboration. I wish we'd thought of this earlier, but I'm thrilled about the idea going forward. 

I will count how many butts I collect on my 20 min. cleanups and keep the tally for my last 100. 

So far, the difference is just staggering. 

I collected 10 cigarette butts in 20 min. last night.

Danielle collected 458. 

How about a re-vote B.O.A.? Cause I can tell you, that after 100 of these comparisons, if you have a heart, you'll be ashamed of yourself for turning away from the action neccesary to enact a ban. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 264 - March 7, 2012

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

Oceana altered it's followers with a plea to help them stop the sale of Manta Ray Leather. That's right, along with their shark cousins, they're body parts are being ground into "medicine" and tanned into boots. I was unaware that these gentle, slow developing giants, were being threatened like their shark cousins. Help Oceana tell this online retailer to stop selling Manta Ray leather. 

It was a very windy sunset. The wind parted the sand, revealing treasure troves of plastic packaging. 

Fresh tracks at sunset on this stunning beach, but do we see all of what's around us?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 263 - March 5, 2012

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

I met my friend Danielle who writes It Starts With Me over a year and a half ago when she came out with her family onto the beach here in Santa Monica with me for a Daily Ocean beach cleanup. She went home and started her own Daily Ocean, which is exactly my hope for anyone who wishes to. Of all the people who have lent their hands to this, Danielle has put forth the most stunning, consistent effort. She's collected over 40,000 butts from her local beach in just over 100 days! 
Here's a quote from her latest post. She needs our help! We'll give it, won't we?

"Interesting fact time!  In 122 days, doing 20 minute beach clean ups.... we've picked up 40,827 cigarette butts off of Wrightsville Beach.  That averages out to picking up nearly 17 cigarette butts every minute! YIKES!  Houston Wrightsville Beach: We have a problem.  The hearing for the proposed smoking ban on Wrightsville Beach is exactly a week away.  Please mark your calendars for March 8.  The meeting starts at 6 PM.... and we need everyone that supports our efforts to show up to the meeting.  We can do this TOGETHER!! :)" - IT STARTS WITH ME

Please sign this SURFRIDER action alert. We can lend our names even if we can't fly to N.C. on March 8th to be there in person for their local meeting deciding on whether or not to ban smoking along their stretch of coastline. 

Before this sunset blew my mind, I watched a small pod of dolphins close to shore. Nights like these make me so glad I started this blog. If not me, then who will stand up for this place I love?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 262 - March 3, 2012

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


I say this in "all caps" with some snarkiness. Beautiful days like yesterday bring people to the beach. People leave water bottles on the sand. Where there are people, there are plastic water bottles. And in Los Angeles, there are a lot of freakin' people. 

Recycling is considered part of the solution to plastic pollution. I do emphasize part of the solution because this plant will have a whopping 20% recycling rate. 
Since when should we tote incredibly low percentages as a win?

You may also sense frustration in this post. I steer away from overt emotionalism on The Daily Ocean, but when I see bottle, after bottle, after bottle, and then celebratory cheers over 20%, I shake my head. This last part you'll have to take my word about. A final word about this subject for the day: reusable. 

Will you add your John Hancock to save sharks from drift nets in Australia? Here's the Care2 petition. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 261 - March 1, 2012

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

90% of all the big fish are gone. 

Gone? Overfished. Out of the ocean. Not around anymore. Yes, gone. I've heard this frightening statistic before, but CNN had an update for us this week. In the esteemed science journal Nature, there's a recent study that took ten years to compile. You can argue with it...but it would be like arguing Global Warming. Like a certain political party, the only ones opposing this scientific research are the people with something to gain by denying the facts - Tuna Fishery Commissions. Come on guys, really? 
I'm thinking it's damn scary. 

This bottle looks like it's been kicking around in the ocean for awhile. 
Here's an interesting post from Bill Hickman of Surfrider - VOLUNTARY PLASTIC BAG REDUCTIONS DON'T WORK. He covers all the facts, and even includes a photo of a mountain of  used plastic bags waiting for a buyer that's never coming. Single use plastic bag usage is upwards of 
100 Billion to 115 Billion in the USA alone! 

OK, I need a pick-me-up after this it! Here's a bit of hope from PEW - A video from Palau about how sharks are worth far more to their economy alive rather than, well you know.