Posts Tagged 'beach'

How to love the beach & its ecosystems

Today’s blog comes from one of our Education Specialists, Becca! When she’s not in the office or a classroom, you’ll most likely find her at the beach!photo 4

“People protect what they love” ~Jacques Cousteau

Sometimes we chose to live by the ocean, but lack understanding of it. When we understand what we are living next to, we can help take care of it. This blog is for beach goers who admire the ocean but do not yet completely understand it.

What is all of this stuff lying out on the sand? What are those holes I see in the sand when the wave returns to the ocean? What is that smell on the beach?12513850_2611838140855_3439960453982877308_o

What is algae? Algae is a living organism that photosynthesizes like a plant. The difference between the two is that plants produce flowers and algae does not. For those of you that have not yet snorkeled or dived in a kelp forest, it is something worth mentioning. Kelp is one of the most important producers off the coast of California. What is it producing? Oxygen for all air breathers, homes for animals, and food for animals like urchins. It is also one of the many species of algae you will find washed up along the beach.

Sand also covers our beaches and thanks to this resource, we have interesting animals living in the sand called Pacific Mole Crabs. Pacific Mole Crabs are filter feeders; they eat by waving around their secondary antennae in the water. They don’t have claws, so don’t worry about those when you hold them! These creatures burrow through the sand and act as an indication of the health of the ecosystem. Their presence reassures us that we have healthy beaches.  When you next see bubbles in the sand after the wave returns the ocean, dig down to find some Pacific Mole Crabs.

How about the smell of the sea breeze? The ocean’s smell is a combination of a few elements. If it were a recipe, it would look a little something like this:

  • Bromophenols: Comes from fish, oysters, shrimp, crabs, and oysters as a result of their diet which includes algae, worms, etc.
  • Dimethyl sulfide (DMS): The clammy or sulfur smell comes from bacteria that eat phytoplankton.
  • Dictyopterenes: Pheromones of algae, as most would guess, smells like dried seaweed.

Next time you walk down to the beach, feel free to explore! The more you about the beach and its ecosystems, you’re bound to discover whole different world!

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Sources: http://www.popsci.com/seasmells – ocean smells

WasteFreeSD tips for a weekend off the grid

Erika-teamToday’s blog comes from ILACSD’s Education Manager and outdoor enthusiast, Erika! In preparation for Memorial Day Weekend, one of the busiest times of the year for San Diego’s outdoor spaces, Erika has put together her top eco camping tips! Whether you’re going to the beach or the desert, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your holiday weekend!

 

Summer is approaching, and with that, you will most likely find me outside camping.  One thing that really bothers me when I am in nature is seeing trash. To do my part, I try to camp, zero waste style. At first, I thought it would be difficult to ditch granola bars and instant coffee but realized I am much healthier and happier when making less waste. The most important thing is to plan ahead and be prepared.

Zero waste food - eco camping

Do some meal prep before your trip to save time and minimize waste!

When it comes to camping, most waste is generated with food. We have become so reliant on the convenience of instant meals but rarely think of the health and environmental implications. To combat this, follow these eco tips:

Stove: Between me and my friends, we have a Jet Boil and camping stove, making cooking a synch. Take it one step further: buy your gear used! Check out Geartrade.org or your local REI for great used deals!

Utensils: A lot of people bring disposables when camping and picnicking but it is incredibly easy to wash your dishes at the campground. To save on water, I bring a tub to contain that water. Remember to use biodegradable soap!

mesh bag - bulk

Reusable bags are great for produce and bulk food items like coffee and trail mix!

Snacks: Buy ahead of time and in bulk. When buying in bulk, I bring my reusable mesh produce bags to limit my plastic use. Recently, I made a bunch of these bags with different materials and sizes. These bags also make light weight snack bags, when hiking, so I don’t need to use resealable (Ziploc) bags. Click here for instructions to make your own! If sewing isn’t your thing, you can buy them here.

Coffee: Yes, this is a whole separate line…you can buy coffee in bulk, bringing your own produce bag and use a French Press. Another option is getting instant coffee that comes in a glass jar and you can reuse the jar!

Other beverages: Either grab your growler and head to the local brewery or go for cans in a box. Saint Archer and Ballast Point, both sell 6 packs in cardboard boxes, which you can use for a fire starter.

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Reduce your use. Fill a growler!

Water: Invest in a reusable water container – they have any size, and with any material – glass, stainless steel, plastic – you name it!

Ice: I tend to shy away from packing items that need ice, so I don’t find this too big of a problem. If you want a cold one, though, use reusable ice packs – you can even make yourself!

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Love campfires? Check out these DIY fire starters using toilet paper rolls and dryer lint!

Cleanup: Most people use paper towels, which you can burn in the fire. I gravitate toward bandanas and reusable kitchen towels.

When camping, I have found that I typically use a couple of trash bags, primarily for food scraps and recycling cans. Other than that, I am waste free! Obviously, I am a little more extreme; however, with planning ahead, we can all make a difference in our environment!

If you are more of the staycation type, and plan to hit the beach over this holiday weekend, be sure to keep an eye out for our Clean Beach Coalition bins! Millions of people will visit San Diego’s beaches to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. To ensure that everyone has a way to conveniently dispose of trash, we place temporary trash and recycling bins throughout Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. The bins will also be out over the 4th of July and Labor Day.P1050996

And if you’d like to volunteer with us after the holiday weekend to pick up any litter that didn’t make its way into the trash can, we’ll be out at Tamarack State Beach in Carlsbad the Tuesday after Memorial Day. To sign up, click here.

 

Bringin’ in the Bins!

Today’s blog post comes from ILACSD’s Director of Development & Marketing, and beach lover, Morgan Justice-Black. MJB-2010-Rounded-Corner

Were you one of the many who braved the traffic and parking struggles to hit the beach over Memorial Day weekend? Well, if you happened to be along Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach or Ocean Beach, you probably saw these big cardboard bins on the sand.

Belmont Shores, Memorial Day

Memorial Day at Belmont Shores, before…

I Love A Clean San Diego and FreePB.org worked together again this year to order hundreds of temporary trash and recycle bins for the big beach holidays over the summer. This year is the first year that we were able to place the bins in time for Memorial Day weekend, and man were they popular!

Memorial Day at Belmont Shores- after!

Memorial Day at Belmont Shores- after!

The City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department provides major help in this endeavor, both placing the bins and removing them, and hauling all of the trash to the landfill. They also calculate how many tons of debris the bins collected. Thanks to the efforts of these bins, we avoid handing out beachside next to images like this… mb_visitorscenter4

To make sure that these bins are durable enough to stand up to the crowds (and the sometimes inclement weather), the bins are double-walled for strength. The cost for these bins certainly adds up. Thankfully this year, we had great support from Think Blue San Diego, Pacific Beach Shore Club, Typhoon Saloon, car2go, SeaWorld and many other sponsors who are recognized on the bins.

If your Fourth of July plans involve a little beach action in PB, MB or OB, make sure you tell your friends that the bins are out there for you to use. As the Clean Beach Coalition motto states, Enjoy the Scene, But Keep it Clean!

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