Monday, December 13, 2010


So much goes into a research expedition like the one that we are preparing for with The 5 Gyres Institute in the spring of 2011 that I thought I would put up periodic updates on The Daily Ocean for you to track our progress.

I will be blogging the heck out of our expedition that is planning to cross the South Pacific from Chile to Easter Island, and then on to Tahiti. THAT'S OVER 4,860 MILES OF OCEAN

We mapped our route on google earth the other morning. I was questioning my sanity after taking a good look at the distance we will cover.

I've included a CALL FOR SPONSORSHIP below that gives the pertinent information for sponsoring a trawl which collects plankton specimens, plastic micro-pollutants, and more.

This is an exciting time to be involved in this critical research. Please leave me a comment, or email me if you would like more information.

Garen and I for The 5 Gyres institute this summer at the Venice Eco Fest

Garen will be collaborating with Dr. Rebecca Shipe from UCLA who is a leading expert in the field of plankton biology. They got together this morning to take water samples off of the Santa Monica Pier to make sure that Garen is up to speed on the equipment she is generous enough to lend us.

Day 178 - Dec. 12, 2010

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.5 pounds
691.5 pounds total

Community Count Day 74 - Low Impact Betty
lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
.8 pounds
613.1 pounds total

Thank you Monica (the brains behind Betty) for trekking all the way from Silverlake to come and cleanup the beach!

Follow her on FB or Twitter and check out her impact-full blog - Low Impact Betty
I usually head out to the beach at sunset. Today was a rare snapshot of what the beach looks like before the end of the day.

"We probably won't find too much out here since the beach is raked around 7 a.m. and it's only 1:00," I said to Monica. But then I added, "I could be wrong."

There have been so many times that I have walked out onto the sand and gotten a first impression that it was "clean" only to find on closer inspection plenty to pick up off the sand.

Today was one of those days. The tally of pounds may not reflect this fact. All of the items we found were extremely lightweight. A plastic bag for example is only .25 ounces.

We talked about how most of what we were finding was made from plastics.
This is a Starbucks lid. Starbucks is starting a recycling long has Starbucks been in business?

Here is a great piece that a Team Marine member sent around from Current TV called, "REDUCE YOUR FORKPRINT! THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF EATING OUT"

"Americans toss out enough plastic spoons, knives, and forks each year to circle the equator 300 times."
Branding is powerful. I would bet that this product begins with a "V" even though the label has been rubbed clean.

In the Dec. 13 issue of the New Yorker, Arrowhead Water took out a glossy two page ad 9 pages into the issue that is chock full with environmental spin. Water bottle sales are dropping. Damage control is necessary for their industry. How much do you think an ad like that costs?

I would bet that a company who felt confident in their product would not be shelling out the cash for an ad like that unless they were sweating a little.

Let's keep turning up the heat.
Buy a Klean Kanteen or EcoUsable Bottle for a loved one this holiday season, and watch companies like Arrowhead spin as fast as they can.

You'll see a trend from the other ads taken out in the front of the New Yorker:
Goldman Sachs (who needs more image spin than these guys?)
Chrysler (we know this company is not doing so well...)
Rolex (who needs a watch when you have a cell phone?)
Ford (these guys also need to pump it up to save their b-hind)

Dec. 12th and 81 degrees in Santa Monica. I'm not complaining, but didn't we say goodbye to summer months ago?

Although there is plenty on our beaches for me to pick up, we do not have tens of thousands of cigarette butts like they do in North Carolina where my friend Danielle Richardet lives.

She won the Britta Filter For Good film contest this year for her 20 minute cigarette butt cleanup that started because of a Daily Ocean cleanup that she came on over the summer. Danielle was shocked that we didn't pick up one cig. butt. I'm glad that we didn't find any that day. I usually get a few, but NOTHING compared to what she finds.

Her first day out in August she collected over 340! In 20 minutes! Now she's giving her elected officials presentations on the toxicity of cigarette butts while being filmed for a Sundance Channel short film by award winning Director Destin Cretton.

Here's a piece written on Danielle in her local Wrightsville Beach paper - StarNews Online.
Like the Grinch after embracing the spirit of Christmas in Whoville - I think my heart swelled two sizes two big when I read it this morning!

The last thing we saw when we were leaving the beach.