Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 22, 2014 - beach cleanup #370

beach cleanup #370
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.3 pounds
1,362.5 pounds total 

My friend Dominique diligently unraveling a yellow caution tape from the kelp. The problem with synthetic rope, lines, ribbons, etc. in the ocean is that once marine life entangle themselves in it, they very rarely get untangled. 

A very old foil balloon that never intended to be here. 

Wallace J Nichols has a new book out - BLUE MIND, The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

Thank you Willow and Dominique for coming out onto the beach tonight. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 15, 2014 - beach cleanup #369

beach cleanup #369
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.7 pounds
1,357.2 pounds total

With one minute left to go, I came upon this scene. 

Do I need to bring two bags out for a twenty minute beach cleanup? 

One huge armful went into the trash can in the photo that was almost full to the brim. I let the timer run out at twenty minutes and kept on going until this was all in a bag, or a can. 

I was crestfallen until I looked up. 

Someone was helping me! 

We didn't even speak, but just kept on cleaning until we were done. It's moments like this that confirm for me that most people are pretty good at the core. 

Happy Father's Day yesterday. 

This new app lets you upload your beach cleanup info from your phone! I've tried it! It's great. 
Click on the link above and check it out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 5th, 2014 - beach cleanup #368

beach cleanup #368
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
4.5 pounds
1,351.5 pounds total

Last Thursday I came out for another beach cleanup. My friend Danielle, who writes the amazing blog IT STARTS WITH ME, wrote in an email recently - BEACH CLEANUPS FOR LIFE. I agree. This may be my 3rd cleanup in the new goal of once a week for a year, but really it's about looking after my local beach for life. I can do that if I break it down into a weekly adventure. 

The Sun is extraordinary. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1st, 2014 - beach cleanup #367

beach cleanup #367
tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
5.8 pounds
1,347 pounds total 

I left the house at 7:00 pm to the sounds of a very unhappy Willow and her Daddy consoling her that she indeed needed to go to bed, and that really she was just tired, really. Well, reasoning with a baby is not how they work. But Garen is a great dad and reassured me to get going! 

This is the first piece of trash that really made me wince. Birds were ambling around it. I imagined the mess, and direct entanglement it could mean for them and any number of sea creatures. These mesh bags usually house sand toys, but are deadly to marine life. I felt great satisfaction at swooping this into my bag. At least this one wasn't going to cause direct misery. 

I am not the parent of a sand toy using kiddo, and I am sure it is hard to get all the gear off the beach, but an entire treasure trove of sand toys were left behind. No kid, or family in sight were attached to these sand castle creating tools. 

Last night as I was out walking, I remembered that summer is a hard time to do beach cleanups. There's usually just so much stuff left out here. And if summer is hard, then the hardest night is Sunday because it is after a weekend of beach going. 

If my weekly commitment to come out for a cleanup falls on Sunday nights, then part of me is inspired by this, and part of me is dreading the months ahead. It is hard to see the trash in such high volume. It is also satisfying to be down there on this one little stretch to do something about it. I feel better, some of the birds and other sea creatures benefit, people see what I am doing even if most of them don't engage me directly, and I have to believe that in these ways I make a direct difference. Just becuase it is a small difference, doesn't mean it doesn't count.