Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 360 - Nov. 26, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2 pounds
1,315.1 pounds total 

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

10 cigarette butts


(Jan. 1, 2010)

It's simple - I will give you this photo for FREE - come enter on my Facebook page. 
My friend Bonnie suggested it could be a great holiday gift for a friend or family member!

Singer-songwriter Verity came out for the beach cleanup tonight. She has an incredible voice. 

She moved to Santa Monica just last week. What a great addition to our community. 
She believes in being of service too. Welcome Verity!

Tip #5 to help the ocean - STRETCH YOURSELF!

Perhaps not litteraly stretch yourself although flexibility is a key component to good health.

Tip #5 means CHALLENGE YOURSELF to be bolder with your talents, and creativity for the ocean. 

Your message will reach people in a way that only you can think of. 

Your skills and your imagination are needed to engage and empower people. 

I still don't like using a computer to spread my message. I often feel frustrated at the inconsitencies and glitches that come from being "online" and let's not even talk about Facebook! But I do it because it reaches people. I do it because the message is bigger than me and while I remain uncomfortable being visable, I do it because it works. I have so many connections and friendships all over the world because I took my message online three and a half years ago. 

You don't have to start a blog to stretch yourself. Tip #5 is more general than that, but I ask you, 
can you be doing a little bit more than you are currently doing to help the ocean? 

Can you start with one small challenge this week? 

Maybe it is as simple as starting a Facebook page to invite your friends, family and collegues to get together for a monthly beach or neighborhood cleanup? 

What you think of will make a change. That's the nature of action, it produces change. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 359 - Nov. 24, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
6.8 pounds
1,313.1 pounds total 

5 cigarette butts

As I count down my last 10 beach cleanups until my 365 goal, 
I'm giving some of my photographs away for free! 

Please visit my Facebook page to win the above photo - 

Tip to help the ocean #6 - PICK A PLACE AND MAKE IT YOURS

I can feel overwhelmed thinking about how much trash gets into the ocean every year. 

I can't prevent all of that modern detritus made mostly of plastic from getting into the marine environment. I can start where I live. I can take action right where I am. I can do this today.

You may not live near the beach, so why not pick your street, school or local park? Can you spend twenty minutes sometime this week to go on a beach, or neighborhood cleanup? I'll be out there with you, picking up my place. 

I heard Charles Moore say recently that the ocean is downhill from everywhere. 

One of the reasons beach cleanups are effective is that I pick up items I use in my daily life and I have to ask myself, "Am I part of the problem?" 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Surfrider's RAP Training at Otis College of Art

 I'm proud to be a part of Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics Speaker Training. 
Here is the talk I gave at Otis College of Art this fall. 
Thank you to Juli Shultz for including me. 
And a HUGE thank you to all of the inspiring speakers-in-training
I had the opportunity to meet.



I am thrilled to be awarded this beautiful table. All of the designs from Upcycler are just as stunning. Please visit 

The "Persistent Environmental Excellence Award" is given to a person, or organization for their hard work and tireless environmental effort in their community. Often their work goes beyond local outreach, impacting a global audience. For their dedication, Michael Yonke, a celebrated eco-designer, awards them a handmade one-of-a-kind work. Michael utilizes reclaimed wood and metal materials of unique beauty and quality cast aside by society to create stunning eco-art and furniture. His works embody an energetic intensity from the creation process and meticulous effort. Michael shares these same qualities and transformative powers with the environmentalists he awards. His Functional Art is an award to be lived with, a simple way to say thank you, and one that will last generations. The 1st award recipient is Sara Bayles of The Daily Ocean. Sara has collected over 1300 pounds of beach trash off her local beach. She will finish her 365 day goal in December. Sara photographs, weighs and writes about her beach cleanups at Her photographs become powerful art that inspires, and educates. She’s inspired others world-wide and has shown us how one small section of beach is a snap shot of a global issue effecting coasts everywhere. Thank you Sara Bayles and The Daily Ocean. 

Recommendations for future awards are welcome.

Design notes : Oceanus -i m.Latin. [the ocean , the sea which encompasses the earth]; personif., [the father of the Nymphs]

Day 358 - Nov. 21, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.6 pounds
1,306.3 pounds total

9 cigarettes



1. "like my FB page - here's the link
2. answer a quick question there in the comments section

I will pick a winner at random from all the comments entered. Good luck!

Tip #7 to help the ocean - BUY LESS FOOD IN PLASTIC PACKAGING
Whenever you can, pass on the plastic packaging. This can be a huge challenge especially if you shop at Trader Joe's where this wrapper originated. 

But there are alternatives, lots of alternatives. I use a container from the salad bar to buy bulk nuts at our grocery store. 

When I am really on top of it I have some cloth fruit and veggie bags with me. They are easy to wash and I get to skip the plastic bag that's so readily offered by the roll at the bulk section. 

I have grabbed a plastic bag in the last year even when in my head I rationalized that I do enough, don't I? What's one or two bags? 

Remember my tip was to use less, not hold yourself to a standard of perfection that will make you want to throw in the towel so to speak. I am not perfect, but I grab for the easy plastic bag WAY less than I used to. 

What about even skipping the free mints wrapped in plastic on a co-worker's desk? It seems like a small contribution, but it is a choice and each choice has an impact. I wouldn't say to them, "I don't want your plastic wrapped mint because those wrappers are toxic trash spoiling the ocean!" 

But living by example is enough unless you feel inspired to say something in a way you'd like to be spoken to pre-plastic awareness. 

I try to remember that people love the ocean and that they may not understand the link between their day to day lives and the health of such a vast expanse of our environment. Can I make sure I educate someone to these issues in an inspiring way? Can I speak to them in a way that they will want to learn more on their own? Can I include rather than shame and alienate them? 

Day 357 - Nov. 18, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1 pound (of soggy stuffed animal)
1,303.7 pounds total 

Kathleen, Paul, Romi, Sophia, Lisa, Herbert, Charlotte, Garen, and three more kids who joined us!
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.2 pounds
1069.5 pounds total 

19 cigarette butts


Last Sunday three of my friends flew into town for a pre-Thanksgiving visit. One of the first stops we made was the beach to meet up with my friend Kathleen and her family. Along the way three more kids joined us spontaneously. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned. As our group grew we found the usual liter along the sand. More eyes, more plastic to spot and pick up. 

Tip #8  to help the ocean - GET A GROUP TOGETHER AND GO CLEAN THE BEACH.

You never know what you will find! 

A big thank you to my friends and family who spared part of their Sunday to come care about the ocean, have fun together, and soak in the sun. 
From left to right - Romi, me, Sophia. 

Here's an article that ran on Thanksgiving Day on the Santa Monica Patch

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 356 - Nov. 15, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
.8 pounds 
1,302.7 pounds total

6 cigarette butts

COMMUNITY COUNT DAY 255 - Susie Allison Hughes, San Juan Capistrano CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
.2 pounds
1,067.1 pounds total

9 cigarette butts

Susie picked up a whole bucket of trash before I even got to the beach and drove about an hour north to come help out! 

Susie just completed the Rise Above Plastics Speaker Training Program that I too participated in as a trainer. She's got all the information now and a lifetime love of the ocean to share. 

She's also a voice for Hawaiian Sea Turtles or Honus. Here's her Aloha Honu page too. 

Thanks for the great effort Susie and here's to more beach cleanups and collaborations!


1. Come like my FB page 
2. Answer a question in the comments section


I'm also passing on tips to help the ocean as I countdown to my 365th beach cleanup.
With 9 to go, here's what I am calling 


My favorite is Chico Bags. They scrunch up into a little pouch. I use it and then stuff it right back into my purse. They fit in pockets too. Leave a few in the car, the office and purse and you are covered! 
They work well for fruit and veggie bags, or any other item in a store on the run. Many places sell cotton veggie and fruit bags too that are washable as are Chico Bags. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 355 - Nov. 10, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
1.4 pounds
1,301.9 pounds total

cigarette butts - 1




I'm giving the above photograph away FREE if you come to my Facebook page, "like" it, and answer a simple question in the comments section. 

With 10 beach cleanups until I reach 365, I am also listing 10 ways to help the ocean.


I used to like drinking from straws, but I've found thousands on the beach in the last three and a half years. When I go to a restaurant I ask (most of the time) to hold the straw. We don't use them at home either. I've taken straws off the sand and now out of my own life.

Could you do that with plastic bottled water, candy, chip bags, plastic bags, cigarettes, or straws?

To support his beach cleanup habit, and well researched and written blog THE FLOTSAM DIARIES, my friend Harry has started making non-toxic play dough in six colors. It is stain resistant, made from natural ingredients and homemade in Saco, Maine. 

Supporting Harry means supporting clean oceans. Check it out! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 354 - Nov. 7, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2.2 pounds 
1,300.5 pounds total 

11 cigarette butts

Tonight's beach cleanup put me over 1,300 pounds of trash collected off my local beach, 20 minutes at a time. It's hard to believe that discarded sand toys, plastic water bottles, cigarette butts and candy wrappers could weigh so much all together. 
What else weighs around 1,300 pounds, or just over half a ton?

A Blue Whale's Heart weighs roughly 1,300 pounds and is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle Bug Car. 

With 11 to go until my goal of 365 cleanups, I've taken a look back at what I posted about after my eleventh beach cleanup. Balloons were the topic of the day. I highlighted how balloons and their string can wrap around shorebirds, or if ingested, cause marine animals 
like sea turtles to get sick and even die. 

Here's a website focused on educating people about the impacts balloons 
have once free in the environment. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 353 - Nov. 7, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
1.7 pounds
1,298.3 pounds total 

13 cigarette butts

My friend Natalie emailed this short video on Richard and Judith Lang who turn hundreds of thousands of plastic detritus bits that wash up on their beach into art. Stunning, inspiring art. 

It is easy to get distracted by the sunsets or the interior of our heads when on the beach. There is so much to take in; bids, waves, rays of light, other people. People come to the sand for rejuvenation, solace, a clearing. 

My favorite beach cleanups when there is hardly anything to pick up like tonight are my favorite. But the stray cigarette butt, or single water bottle still stand out. Taking these items with me when I leave makes my time out there that much sweeter. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 352 - Nov. 6, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
1.2 pounds
1,296.6 pounds total

13 cigarette butts

On Tuesday Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina voted to ban cigarette smoking on their local beaches. My friend Danielle who writes IT STARTS WITH ME played a huge role in getting this done. 

I am so inspired and grateful for her diligence and passion. 

We do a comparative cigarette butt count on our respective Daily Ocean beach cleanups. 
I'll find 5-20 cigarettes and she finds 100-700.

 Let's watch that number drop! 

About two and a half years ago she started the OUR DAILY OCEAN section of her blog after coming out on the beach in Santa Monica with me while visiting California. 
Since then a great friendship and partnership has sprung up between us. 

Congratulations WB! 

Congratulations Danielle!

See where it says, JOIN THE CONVERSATION? 

What if we could create a new conversation with companies? 

I'd ask if they'd consider re-thinking their packaging and reclamation of their product when it gets to the end of its life. Many people would like to ask the same questions and are doing just that. There's even a term for this conversation starter - EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY. 

Companies factor into their business plan from the get-go how to track and responsibly manage all phases of the life of their product including the waste burden put onto the consumer and the municipalities where the products are consumed. 

Good idea? Yes, I think so too.

It's count down mode time. 

I have about 10 cleanups left to do. 

I'm going through my photographs, choosing 10 and getting ready for a photo giveaway in the next few weeks. 

Stay tuned! 

Want to win a Daily Ocean photograph to have in your home, or office? 

Freebie right around the corner!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 351 - Nov. 3, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
1.3 pounds
1,295.4 pounds total

9 cigarette butts

The beach was blissfully clean except for a few wrappers. I like the trend of cleaner beaches. 
If this keeps up, "it's going to be a bright, bright, bright sun-shiny day."

My presentation from the panel on Plastic Pollution at Santa Monica College on Oct. 25th. 
Spare 11 min. to listen to a story about how one person grabbed a bag to do a beach cleanup on a cold March afternoon in 2009 and took over 1,200 pounds of trash from her local sandy coastline and then pass it along. The more voices for clean oceans the better - please share widely. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 350 - Oct. 27, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 – Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
1 pound collected
1,294.1 pounds total 

6 cigarette butts

I spent all day yesterday in a non-fiction book proposal-writing workshop at UCLA. As I approach my initial goal of 365 beach cleanups, my idea and the direction of The Daily Ocean seems to expand every moment. One question that our teacher asked us was, “Why am I the person to write this book?” If the book is about the beach cleanup project I’ve been doing for 3 and ½ years, then the answer is obvious and not as scary. 

If I start gathering all of the thoughts, ideas and messages I have to share about hope for the ocean, how we can all work together to restore the health of our blue planet, and how my brain fills up with concrete solutions to share and inspire as many people as possible, then answering why I am the person to write the book becomes a little more nebulous. 

Until I bring it back to the simplicity of how this whole crazy project started in the first place. 

A woman who had always loved the ocean went out one day to make a difference.
After taking action she believes in her heart that you can make a difference too. 

Put this way, I am just the person to write the book. Someday you might write your own message, or share it in another way that will reach people only you can. There’s no difference between us. We all matter, can contribute, and are needed.

Who’s with me?