Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 109 - March 28

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
4.1 pounds
433.2 pounds total

1.7 pounds
212.6 pounds total
Tracy of Recycled Bride (which is an awesome website you must check out if you haven't) and I went out on the beach Sunday night to find it well...trashed. We walked out discussing how lucky we were to live in Santa Monica where the weather can be in the 80's in March, and where people appear so healthy by enjoying our great beach environment. Then I remembered that great weather means a greater amount of trash to collect.

Tracy was shocked. She should be. "Why aren't there lids on those trash cans so the sea gulls can't drag out all that trash?" she wondered out loud.
Good question.
Money is one answer, and complacency is perhaps another.

Although I do think that Dean Kubani who runs the Santa Monica City's Office of Sustainability and the Environment is amazing and dedicated...
Birds eating more styrafoam. I think that I found the same thing last time I was out. Tracy was again alarmed, and well, again she should be, right?

"What happens to the birds if they eat that stuff?" she asked me.

"Nothing good," was all I could say.

Hmmm...a net washing into the water like this, might sink, but it looks to me, that it could become a bit of a death trap to the marine life that got entangled in it. I again came across an article I think worth rementioning from Surfrider's ENewsletter, THE SOUP. (You can sign up on their website.)

It's not just beaches in Southern California that are suffering from being trashed as we know -

"About 3,000 items of litter are strewn across every mile of U.K. beach at any given time, according to a study released by the Marine Conservation Society. MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend 2009 results were collected by 4,655 volunteers who went to their favorite beach in late 2009 and not only removed the litter, but also recorded what they found. The haul included 7,393 plastic bags, 16,243 plastic bottles, 17,712 fishing nets and 70,546 small plastic pieces."

The Daily Ocean turns 1 year old today. How could this be you may be asking since I am not close to being done?

A year ago, (see day 1 here), I really didn't understand what I was getting myself into. I thought about some guidelines for myself and decided to put this one important rule in place:

1. I collect on 365 NON-CONSECUTIVE days. Life isn't perfect. I thought. I may have to go out of town, or get sick which I can tell you both happened in the last year. For example, I went on my honeymoon.

I wanted to create an example with The Daily Ocean for people to see that they can make a difference by adding environmental activism that they are passionate about to an already full life.

Then I realized that collecting trash, and starting this blog was a great platform for me to pass on what I was learning and thinking about as I went along. A year ago I just knew I needed to do something.

I was right. I am here to report one thing that I have learned for sure in the last year, which is for me action feels a lot better than in-action.

If you have found yourself following The Daily Ocean I want to say thank you. I look forward to what is to come.

My yearly average for beach cleanups was 2 - 3 times a week. Still a lot more than most people, but not at all unmanagable.

Thank you also to all of the people I have met through the Community Collection Count portion of my blog. You have truly inspired me.