Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 71 - Oct. 29

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
estimated pounds of trash collected today - 2.4
estimated pounds of trash collected to date - 332.1
If you'll look closer, you'll see that the label says, "No Junk Promise."
Except is junk, or trash, or litter, or plastic, or a problem, or a bummer.

But speaking of food, just got an email from The Blue Ocean Institute founded by Dr. Carl Safina, who is a Marine Scientist and Ocean Conservationist on the east coast.
He does a lot of speaking and political lobbying to help save the Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna that is nearly extinct. He's also the author of some amazing books like, "Song for the Blue Ocean."
OK, anyway you can tell I like this guy.

Here's the new program:

Green Chefs, Blue Ocean (GCBO)is a joint project of Chefs Collaborativeand Blue Ocean Institute.
GCBO is the first comprehensive, interactive online sustainable seafood training program developed jointly by culinary professionals and marine conservationists.

I may be dating myself, but who doesn't associate Reece's Pieces with E.T.!

This also brings to mind Halloween.
I don't know what to do this year about trick or treaters, and the treats.
Let me explain.
Candy wrappers are the third most common type of trash polluting the oceans.
This year we moved to a neighborhood that may be swelling with little tricksters tomorrow night, and while I could just not answer the doorbell, (seems like a poor option), I don't want to hand out small candy bars with all those wrappers!
So then what, apples? No, couldn't stand being the "healthy" treat lady, gross.
This is a Willet (Willett?) bird. They remind me of a small Egret.

I talk about Surfrider a lot. And let me say it again, I am not a surfer, but I am a member because I love how they work towards protecting our beaches, and coastal waters with their various programs.

One I have been looking into recently is the Ocean Friendly Gardens program.
If you live in a coastal area, and have a yard or garden, there are certain plants to plant that:

- take less water.

- grab more soil, therefor protecting the ground from eroding away when it rains and making it into the ocean.

The soil contributes to what is called Urban Runoff. Los Angeles is 90% concrete and therefor 90% impermeable.

When it rains here, (as infrequent as that is), the water rushes to the ocean picking up everything along the way, that's Urban Runoff.

If you plant an Ocean Friendly Garden, you contribute a lot less to the problem. Less stuff heading for the ocean, less pollution, and all you have to do is get some plants that usually don't need more than a very small amount of water.

Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Garden's program has a whole lot of workshops for free coming up in the LA area. Why not go to one?
I love to see the Sea Gulls on the beach at sunset gather together on the sand and face west to watch the show.
They do this by the hundreds, like a herd of cows that naturally orient themselves north, these birds stand together looking at the sun until it drops below the horizon.
Not a bad way to end the day, and by doing this it makes me think that they know how lucky they are to be able to witness a Pacific Coast sunset on a daily basis.
There may be a more scientific, zoologic explanation....but I like to believe they gather together like this simply because they want to.

Two Eco-Organizations I want to highlight

PineMark is a personal Green Certification Program.
I took their suggested 8 minute online survey that gives you an overview of all the areas of your life that you can apply sustainable principles, and therefor cut down on your carbon emissions.

I learned a lot too. Like:
"DVR and Tv combined consume more energy per year than your refrigerator, and Americans produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building EVERYDAY."

It was a good reminder that in every area of your life, small conservation efforts add up to concrete differences that have a cumulative effect. Nice work to the guys that started PineMark. Below is some further description from one of the co-founders Joe Magee:

"The PineMark certification displays your eco-friendly life. We send you an official seal (sticker and soft seal for online), a PineMark grocery tote, and you access all the exclusive discounts in our marketplace
When you apply for the certification please use the "dailyocean" code for $10 off for the readers of The Daily Ocean"
It is 39$ per household and 29$ for an individual.

A great way to build a community and you get perks for your efforts and certification
from a number of environmentally conscience vendors.

F.Y.I. - "BU" stands for MaliBU and the iconic Surfrider Beach.

November 5th marks a big day for the Surfrider Foundation. I found out at our West Los Angeles/Malibu chapter meeting this week, that Surfrider has been trying to get the city of Malibu to clean up the water at Surfrider Beach for 15 years!!

"What causes the pollution? We know that commercial and residential septic tanks in the Malibu Civic Center area are a significant source of pollutants into Lower Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and ultimately Surfrider Beach. As a result these areas are all included on the US EPA’s list as impaired for recreation. Impaired. For recreation. At Malibu.": WLAM/Surfrider Chapter website

Next week in downtown LA: (go to WLAM/Surfrider website for more details) there is a public meeting with the The LA Regional Water Quality Board. An arm of the EPA.

So you know, (and maybe I can say it since I am one small project and not a major nonprofit, the people presenting at Tues. meeting were gracious enough not to mention who lives in the Serra Retreat Center, but I'm not).

The Serra Retreat is one of the major polluters to the beach. It is about a mile of secluded celebrity estates near across from Surfrider Beach. Their septic systems routinely fail and their dookey flows into the water there, where not only surfers go, but families, tourists, kids. Gross.

Serra Retreat Residents include: James Cameron and Mel Gibson.

You think they have enough cash to upgrade their septic systems? Ridiculous. And for 15 years now. So please join us with your support. The WLAM website (link above) has an online petition you can sign too. Or come to the meeting!


The LA Regional Water Quality Board is the ‘buck stops here’ agency *mandated* to protect resources (like Surfrider). Around three thousand people turn out to the Trestles hearings and it worked! Our physical presence is needed to make sure that the Board knows that the public care about, appreciate, and value this important area.

    Thursday, November 5th / 9am / Metropolitan Water Board / 700 N Alameda Street (
    Google Map)

Day 70 - Oct. 28

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
estimated pounds collected today - 3.2
estimated pounds collected to date - 329.13
It was incredibly windy today, well for the last three days. I like this time of year though, so it doesn't bother me. When I walked out onto the beach I thought that there wouldn't be that much trash left for me to collect, that everything had already blown into the water.

But then i remembered how much gets buried into the sand, and I quickly realized I may find some interesting pieces of trash that the extreme weather had revealed.
I found the usual:
-plastic wrappers
-bottle tops
- tons of cigarette butts
- food wrappers
Nothing interesting about any of that stuff.
Ah, Starbucks...why don't they have recycling for plastics in their stores? Have you ever noticed how many clear plastic single use drinking cups with lids are crammed into their trash bins? I might try to get them to take on some recycling initiative. Anyone know someone who works for Starbucks at the corporate level? Want to help me?
Styrofoam - It is banned in the city of Santa Monica, yet I got some to go from the Novel Cafe up the street the other week and my yogurt came in a styrofoam container. Siel knows of a link that you can report businesses who still use styrofoam in the city of S.M.. When I find out, I'll pass on the information.
Windy? Doesn't it look like someone propped this metal trash can on its side like a make-shift goal? Maybe they did, but I like to think it might also have been the strong winds that have swept through here lately.

I was reading greenLAgirl yesterday and Siel had posted about a really cool project.

Take your picture with your hands in front of you fanning out to look like a whale's tale and send it in. Your support will be counted.

You can submit your whale tail photo here.

If you want to come support this project in person and you live in Santa Monica:
next Sat. on the 3rd st. promenade at 1 pm at Lush Cosmetics, the actress Kristen Bauer from True Blood will be there to talk about this project, take some pictures and has a giveaway for the first 100 people to RSVP. email:

Can't be there in person? Help support Whale's and a new bill for Whale Conservation that is being put through congress right now by downloading animal ring tones from IFAW

Just a couple of people out today. At sunset it was me and a few sea gulls. As I've said in earlier posts, I like their company so I didn't mind. There is something soothing about being on a beach that feels like you've got it all to yourself.

And if you haven't seen this before, the NRDC has a really incredible campaign for the oceans. Go here to find out more.