Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 300 - June 28, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.5 pounds
1,133.7 pounds total
8 cigarette butts

Last night was my 300th beach cleanup. I have to say, it felt like a huge milestone. There have been times over the last three years that I wanted to call it quits. Wondering if it mattered if I finished, we all know what's out there, how many freakin' times can I write about, or pick up a plastic bag?! You get the idea. But with 65 collections left to go, I am so SO SO glad I stuck it out. It is important to meet my goal, to continue to share these images with you, to finish what I set out to do. 

I've said it before, but beach cleanups alone are not a viable answer to getting this junk (mostly plastic) out of our ocean. However, it was the first way I felt compelled to act. That initial action to cleanup the stretch of sand at the end of our street catapulted me into learning about ocean health, plastic pollution, and so much more. 

I've changed my habits because of these beach cleanups. I'm pretty sure I still drank water from plastic bottles when I began. I can't remember the last time I did that, or baught one. Why? Personally, I know too much about the tainted water inside. I learned about that because I got sick of picking them off the sand and wanted to know more. There are only so many times you can retrieve stranded plastic water bottles before that's the last thing you'd reach for in a convienence store. Infact, I try to stay clear of all plastic bottled beverages. I changed because of my direct experience with them on beach cleanups. 

That's one way I do believe beach cleanups are effective. Most of you will never do 300 of them, but you will do a few. If you're reading this blog, you're probably already into ocean conservation and perhaps love the beach. And in those few beach cleanups that you'll do, you may experience a shift in your own habits as a result of finding discarded plastic detritus from our modern life spoiling a place that you love, harming animals you'd rather protect, and endangering our natural world for future generations. 

trash collected for 20 min. 
2.5 pounds collected
965.8 pounds total 

We gave this 2012 bottle of bubbles to a five-year-old passing us on the boardwalk. He promised not to leave it on the sand when he was finished playing with the unopened container of soapy fun. 

A big thank you to Marrisa who called to me from the parking lot as I passed, "Are you doing a beach cleanup? Can I come?" She'd driven down to 26 to surf, but it was blown out, that is to say - unsurfable. Instead, we took to the sand together. Kismet. Instant friends. We know people in common, and share a love of the ocean. Thanks for coming out Marrisa, you brightened my day too.