Monday, July 26, 2010

East Coast -- West Coast Trash Talk


Rob Rector of MERR - Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation - Institute in Delaware and I met because of Oceana's Ocean Hero Contest this year. We both loved being a part of it.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster (it's not just a "spill") happened during the contest. Many people felt devastated and helpless, (still do) but if they looked at Oceana's website they were directed to look at all kinds of ocean activism, most especially this year's winner IBRRC.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center are in the gulf right now helping oiled birds survive this tragedy. Here's a direct link to what they are doing. Their efforts are tremendous.

After the Ocean Hero Award Rob and I decided to try to find ways to work together. Here's one way that we came up with. We did a joint beach cleanup for the Community Collection Count part of my blog. Want to contribute? Leave a comment and I'll catch you up on what to do. It's pretty simple. You just do a Daily Ocean style cleanup near you, or while on vacation and send me your findings. Below are the results from our:

EAST COAST -- WEST COAST TRASH TALK (Rob aptly named it)

Last Sunday night, on our respective east coast and west coast beaches, at sunset we went out for about 20 minutes to see what we could find. Below is one of the many cool videos he sent me to introduce Nate and Maya - his ridiculously cute, and smart kids -
the Ocean Heroes of the night.

"The stats- Collectors: Maya (6) and Nate (4)

Time: 8:10-8:35

Area: 2 blocks on Rehoboth Beach DE

Amount collected: 6.5 pounds

Total: 321.5

Fun had: immeasurable" - Rob Rector, MERR

The picture above could be of the beach down the street from me. An orange peel and a plastic bottle top-twisty-thingy are everyday finds in California as well.

I found a plastic water bottle, and lots of gulls too. See my collection results for the day.

Ahh..chap stick. For me it was one of those plastic disposable objects that had infiltrated my life so seamlessly until I became aware of single use disposable plastics. Now I see them...and oh so many other objects like it.

Thank you to Nate, Maya and Rob for participating in cleaning up our beaches, but just as importantly for raising awareness about the trash -- mostly plastic and single use -- that is flooding the oceans. It's like the chap stick, once you see it, you see it everywhere.

Even if you don't live by the coast, all "drains" lead to the ocean eventually. In the meantime, if you look around your neighborhood, do you see plastic water bottles, cigarette butts, and plastic bags littering your streets? If so, want to do something about it?

Biggest object: A beach chair (I did not include this with the weight, though,as I left it in the trash there. No room on my bike).

They didn't even get to finish their Cherry Coke!

Thank you Rob for all the short videos you took of Nate and Maya. It really feels like we are all right there with you. I hope that the people who are reading this post enjoy them as much as I do!

Day 134 - July 25, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
4.8 pounds
547.4 pounds total
We really need to get some lids for the trash cans here in Santa Monica.
I picked all of this up, but how long did it take for the gulls to drag it back out?
There is a blog called Responsible Plastic that I would like to mention. It is written by David Mc Kay as, "an attempt to make sense out of the plastic in my life." His motto - "Nobody said it was easy..." In his latest post he asks himself just how far he is willing to go to get plastic out of his life?

Thank you David for asking yourself these hard questions, which in turn asks us to think about it too.
Here is a link to Team Marine of Santa Monica High School's Youtube channel. With over 20 environmental videos it is really worth checking out.

I'm getting psyched up to meet next year's new members, and see some familiar faces from 09-10, but I will really miss the crew that is off to college who are about to take the world by campus at a time! Good luck guys!!

This looks like an underwhelming piece of trash left on the beach. It's not even made from plastic! Shocker. Here's why I am including it in today's post:

I was collecting some trash around the people who were still on the beach, which always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, but I just carry on. Anyway...I noticed the woman sitting behind this receipt on a towel, waiting for her husband to get out of the water, and perhaps wondering what the hell I was doing? Sometimes this happens...people will stare at me until I look up, then they turn away, or often say thank you.

So, I was hoping that she would pick up the trash in front of her when she left. I didn't want to bend down at her toes for her, I thought I'd give her a chance to clean it up herself since I was sure she had seen what I was up to.

But she didn't. This is not to shame her. Maybe she thought that I would get it, which I did. Maybe she didn't see it. I think that most people are used to a certain amount of trash on the beach. We've become apathetic to it. But seeing her leave the crumpled receipt in the sand made me think of a very important question, "If not me, who?"

If I leave the responsibility to the next person, who is to say they won't do the same?

If I want to save the ocean from trash -- mostly plastic -- then perhaps it is up to me?

If not me, then who?
Not Arrowhead. You may think I am being too hard on them for calling them out on their "Green-Washing" campaign, but am I? I don't think so. Especially after I watched TAPPED THE MOVIE and FLOW.