Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 274 - April 26, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
3.5 pounds
1,011.1 pounds total 
Like "Where's Waldo?" - "Where's the Ziplock?"

I found only 5 cigarette butts tonight during my 20 minute beach cleanup. 
Danielle who writes, "It Starts With Me" found 212 last time she went out to her North Carolina beach. We're keeping count to show the difference between a beach where smoking is banned and one where it's not. Hopefully our findings will help sway local government officials in N.C. to adopt a no smoking policy for their beach. Want to count on your own local beach? You're welcome to join us!

I found three of these packets tonight spaced out along the beach. 

A friend passed along this video to me on twitter this week. They call themselves the Litter Grabbers. Their video documents what they found on their stretch of sand, it's a little spoken word, a little video art, and a whole lot of creative energy. 

It took me awhile to get back out on the beach after our trip to Honduras. While on the island of Utila we saw a whole lot of trash on the beach, and some floating along the top of the ocean as we made our way out to different dive spots. What we didn't see were the Whale Sharks we'd traveled for, sea turtles,  dolphins, whales, sharks, many fish and very few sea birds. It hit me hard in part because this is the third ocean in a year where we've seen coral reef damage and an absence of abundant, healthy marine life. What do I do with my experiences? Part of my personal solution is to write this blog. And so tonight, it felt good to be back in the swing of it, on the beach at sunset, watching three pelicans stream by, and one leaping sea lion. I love Santa Monica. I love the ocean. I love this planet we've got.


  1. Love what you're doing -- going out, seeing, documenting, showing what you're finding. The good & the bad. Too many people just bury their heads, figure it's somebody else's problem, it's far away, it doesn't matter. They're wrong. That sunset on a beautiful shore is every kid's birthright, that scene needs to be protected & revered!

  2. Harry -

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that "sunset on a beautiful shore," is a birthright. So glad we're both doing what we can to ensure that. Thanks for being on the road with me. I could say the same comment to you about the impact of the Flotsam Diaries. Onward!

  3. As far as the trash on the beaches of Honduras, do u think its the locals? or a combo of tourist and locals? Just wondering how the trash outside of the beach is... same as on the beach?

  4. My guess is a combo. I saw trash around the air strip that we were using....this is an interesting question. My eyes are so trained for the beach that those are the images I recall best...let me think on this a bit :)

  5. Sara, Kudos to you and what you believe in and do. Tim, Alex, Maddie & myself met you and Garen in Honduras @ The Laguna Beach Resort. So nice to meet you guys...had a great time! Thanks so much for your kind words & guidance for Maddie. She adores you both & hopes to meet you again someday when we scope out colleges. We are not divers...but love the marine life...on a quest to see the whale sharks. We too were disappointed at the lack of sharks, birds, turtles, etc...and especially dolphins. We live in Wisconsin and have traveled to various oceans on many trips...first time we have not seen a dolphin. The trash on some of the remote beaches reminded us of something you would see after a cruiseship wreck...lots of shoes, tooth brushes, clothes, medicine bottles, syringes, plastic, name it. Lots of work required to clean some of those beaches...on such a small island. :(

  6. Sue! We loved meeting your family in Honduras! Please stay in touch and say hello to them for us. Let Maddie know we are behind her 100%. Let us know when, or if she has any questions about college or what have you. We're here!
    And yes, not seeing dolphins for a week was especially hard. The trash was also very intense to see.

    Thanks for reaching out. Great to hear from you!