Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 330 - Sept. 15, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
9 pounds (a wet sneaker and plastic bottle full of sand contributed to this)
1,251.8 pounds total

3 cigarette butts

The night after Coastal Cleanup Day and I collected nine pounds of trash in 20 minutes. I share this not to discourage those who came out but to illuminate a need for continuous action. 

Here are three things you can do to address all the trash flowing into the ocean:


Do more beach cleanups! Come out with me! I go out 3 - 4 times a week. Here's how to join me. Or do one on your own and email me about it. Surfrider and Heal the Bay also do monthly cleanups. Physically picking up the same items over and over made me reach for them less often in my own life.

2. BUY AND USE A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE - If you did only one thing to help the ocean, this is it. You'll save money. You'll drink healthier water. (Brita Filters are great if you are worried about the quality of your tap water)


Think of a creative way to spread the message for cleaner oceans to your friends and family. You have permission to act on your own. Not everyone will end up starting a blog, or non-profit, but you probably have a camera in your phone, you have access to free social media (blogspot blogs like this one are free) and you have great ideas. Take 20 minutes and brainstorm how you could use your creativity, passion and determination to inspire people. I started The Daily Ocean with one beach cleanup. What could you do? Start your own Daily Ocean blog. Ideas are free. I share mine. Leave me a comment and tell me yours. 


Maia - Community Count 8th Grader for clean oceans

 Maia's school 

Maia, an 8th grader from Ct., emailed me to get involved. She's written a report on plastics in our ocean. I asked her to tell me what got her interested in this topic, and what's a next step for her now that she knows. Here are her answers.


I became interested in this topic because of the fact that I have
always wanted to be a marine biologist since the first time I stepped
foot on the beach. 

After a while I realized just what a huge issue
pollution is causing for local beachs, not only just making them look
unappealing, but causing the waters that people swim in everyday turn
an ugly shade of grey. 

Another reason I became interested in this
topic was because of the fact that sometimes I even see people just
throwing their trash out the windows of theirs cars, and seeing
seagulls attempt to swallow said trash. 

I always feel awful when i see
birds and other animals suffocating and slowly dying on trash, while
their is little I can do to save that particular animal I can reach
out to my community and inform them of what is going on around us.


My next step to help end pollution for good is to put posters on
trash cans on the beach and around my school explaining just why they
shouldn't pollute and how one small action can make a huge impact.

Maia is on to a key idea. One small action - sending me an email - got her message out to you. 

You will take this message and share it with others, won't you?

Maia's beach

Maia's report on plastics in the ocean: thanks for a great report!!

Plastic bags, broken bottles, crayons, even appliances slowly float in
the ocean current. That’s what the worlds’ oceans will look like if we
continue littering and polluting. There are two kinds of polluting;
chemical pollution and physical trash.

    Chemical pollution is inside almost every marine animal on the
planet, from plankton; to pink salmon; to polar bears it affects even
us humans when we eat our sushi and shark fin soup. Chemical pollution
can come in many forms, one of the most common being runoff from farms
and cities. Some chemicals that are in the runoff are fertilizer, lawn
care supplies, and other household products. 

The thing that sets
fertilizer apart is the fact that once it gets into the oceans it
causes a reaction called eutrophication; it’s when the nutrients in
the fertilizer causes the algae blooms to flourish and it then
depletes the surrounding water of all it oxygen making it
uninhabitable for other marine life such as fish and other types of
seaweed. Oil spills are also a part of chemical pollution, but only
account for 12% of all the oil that makes its way into the sea. The
other 36% is from cars exhausts and street runoff/storm drains. 80%of
all the urban sewage discharged into the Mediterranean Sea is left

Until the 1970’s people were allowed to dump almost
anything into the ocean; things like toxic waste, chemical weapons,
and radioactive material, were dumped on a regular basis.  In 1972
dumping most toxic materials into the sea was banned worldwide,  but
in 1996 they further restricted what could be dumped.
  Physical garbage is also a massive issue in the world. Soda six-pack
rings pose a problem every day; they choke penguins in Antarctica and
dolphins in South America. However the worst criminals are the helium
balloon and plastic bag, these items are found blocking the airways
and stomachs of seals, whales, dolphins, and turtles who mistake them
for their favorite snack of jelly fish. But that’s not all; they even
get caught on coral reefs, killing them. Sharks all over have been
found with numerous types of trash in their stomachs, from tin cans to
license plates, they take a bite out of everything.

Garbage and pollution are everywhere but just one small action can make a big impact.

Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day - Sept. 15, 2012

Venice Beach, CA - South of the pier

trash collected by over 110 volunteers

160+ pounds collected in 3 hours

Heal the Bay and Surfrider teamed up to facilitate a well organized beach cleanup. Juli Shultz, a longtime member of Surfrider, really did the lion's share. Thanks Juli. Kathryn Benz from Heal the Bay also pitched in all day. A professor from Otis College of Art and Design joined us with a few of her students. I had fun talking to the volunteers, meeting 8th graders from Sylmar, and high school students from Hamilton as they came back to weigh their findings. 

No surprise that they found the usual suspects - plastic bottles, cigarette butts, straws, plastic food wrappers, bottles and cans, and assorted misc. gross items. 

All in all we weighed in around 160 pounds. That's just over a pound per person. 

At noon we broke down the tents and sorted the trash. I'm thrilled that over 160 pounds of trash got taken off the beach, but as we left it in bags for the city of Venice to dispose of, I was reminded that beach cleanups displace trash, they don't get rid of it. I've wished for a Harry Potter wand to make it all disappear, but what happens to this plastic litter is that it gets moved to the dump where it remains a problem. 

Yes, the trash is off the beach I love, out of the water, and away from the animals, but it is far from out of sight out of mind. Beach cleanups raise awareness for how much liter is generated from our rabid culture of convenience. 

Take it off the sand, and then take it out of your life. 

What's good for your health, and your pocket book 
(you save money buying less snacks and drinks out on the go) 
is good for the environment too. 

You are the environment and the environment is a reflection of you.