Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 309 - August 13, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
4.5 pounds
1,164.7 pounds

6 cigarette butts

After an intensive writing conference and a short but much needed vacation, I'm back to beach cleanups. And as most of us can relate to, summer is an opportunity to kick the sand between your bare toes, letting the heat slow your pace to a stroll. It's wonderful to write last night's post though, 
reconnecting with you and reconnecting with the beach I love.

It's roughly 6:20 p.m. when I start my collection. Only during summer do people stay past dinner to soak up the last rays of the sun. Perhaps we leave our cares so far behind as the salt, and the sea, and the sun envelop our senses, that we miss what else is right in front of us. This is one of several shots of a mother and daughter playing at the waters edge. The piece of plastic between them was also one of many lying within their reach. 

Single-use plastic food wrappers - the quintessential litter. 

My father-in-law told us that the two teams in the women's Volleyball final in London started playing on beaches in Santa Monica. Although not a native Californian, 
I couldn't help but swell a little with pride picturing them practice at the end of the street. 

After a more hectic summer than anticipated, and less than 60 cleanups to go, I'm recharged for the final stretch of The Daily Ocean. If you are new to my beach cleanup project, welcome as I wrap up what's been a 3+ year labor of love. 

But it's the DAILY Ocean you ask? 
Yes - 365 cleanups, amassing a year's worth of collection data and photographs. I'm not perfect, although I am persistent. Life has called me away for weddings, a safari to Africa with my father, sailing across most of the South Pacific with the 5 Gyres Institute, and much more. I go as many days as I can and hopefully its the persistence, not the perfection you let inspire you.