Posts Tagged 'marine debris'

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!

12140595_2563855941330_6771844673869985997_n

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

Advertisements

The Play-by-Play of Kids’ Ocean Day

Hats off to another successful Kids’ Ocean Day – ILACSD’s 18th and the state’s 23rd  annual event! Kids’ Ocean Day is a unique, annual event centered on engaging our youth as environmental stewards. After a school assembly about ocean conservation, 3rd-5th grade students from eight Title 1 schools around the county joined together at South Mission Beach to leave a lasting impact on their environment.

Take a look at how we spent the day!

IMG_0557

Staff arrived at 5:00 AM to lay the aerial art design in the sand.

 

SONY DSC

Volunteer groups, like Kohl’s Associates in Action, led students during the cleanup to ensure the day ran smoothly!

 

SONY DSC

Thanks to additional sponsorship this year, ILACSD provided 50 reusable buckets for the cleanup, reducing the amount of disposable trash bags used at this event.

 

SONY DSC

Volunteers reviewed safety tips for the cleanup and got students energized for the day!

 

SONY DSC

Over 950 students, teachers, and volunteers participated in a beach cleanup, ensuring fewer pieces of land litter become marine debris.

 

SONY DSC

Zero Waste in action! Most students created temporary trash bins from repurposed milk jugs, which they later recycled.

 

SONY DSC

Fresh air + fresh dance moves + a freshly cleaned beach = a great day.

DSC01793

Students waiting patiently for the helicopter to circle overhead and capture the perfect shot of the aerial art.

And lastly, the official image! Great job, team! To get involved with an upcoming event, please visit CleanSD.org!

Aerial Art - Kids' Ocean Day 2016

Encinitas Bag Ban spurs more giveaways!

morgan team15 v2Today’s blog comes from our Director of Development and Marketing, Morgan, who has been working directly with the City of Encinitas to prepare shoppers for the second phase of the single-use bag ban. Read on to learn more about how I Love A Clean San Diego is working to make the this transition as seamless as possible! 

Attention Encinitas Shoppers!

Starting October 10th, the second and final phase of the Encinitas single-use plastic bag ban goes into effect. That means that department stores, clothing stores, hardware stores and even farmer’s markets will no longer be offering single-use plastic bags to shoppers.

In order to help ease shoppers into this new policy, I Love A Clean San Diego has partnered with the City of Encinitas to coordinate a series of bag giveaways to coincide with the Phase II implementation.IMG_8440 - twitter

Come by the following stores and centers and get your free reusable bag to use for your next shopping trip! Remember, there are limited quantities, so act fast!

Sunday, October 4th from 11AM – 1PM:

  • Encinitas Ranch Town Center – between PetSmart and Barnes and Noble, 1034 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Encinitas Ranch Town Center – between Buy Buy Baby and Target, 1014 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Home Depot, 1001 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Leucadia Farmers Market – Paul Ecke Elementary School, 185 Union Street, Encinitas, CA 92024 (from 10AM – 1PM)

Wednesday, October 7th from 4 – 6PM:

  • Encinitas Farmers Market – 600 S. Vulcan Ave, Encinitas 92024

Our Admin Assistant, Brittany, sporting our bag monster costume fitted with 550 plastic bags, the estimated amount of plastic bags that each American will use in one year.

Fast Facts about Plastic Bags:

  • It is estimated that 31.9 million single-use carryout bags are distributed in the City of Encinitas each year.
  • Studies have shown the prevalence of single-use carryout bags are responsible for littering the environment, blocking storm drains and polluting beaches, oceans and the marine environment.
  • Single-use bags made from plastic do not decompose, therefore they exist in the environment forever.
  • Plastic bags are a significant source of marine debris and are hazardous to marine animals, such as turtles and birds, which often confuse plastic bags as a source of food and ingest these bags, causing reduced nutrient absorption and death.


Tips to Remember Your Reusable Bags:

  • Set your car keys on your bag.
  • Keep reusable bags in the trunk of your car and put a small note on the dashboard or your shopping list to remind you to grab them. Once you unload your groceries at home, put the bags back into the trunk immediately so you’ll have them for your next trip.
  • Purchase a few compact reusable bags and keep them in your purse, jacket pocket, backpack, or attach them to a keychain.
  • Ask your children, spouse or roomate to remind you to bring your bags.
  • Keep bags in multiple places, like at home, in the car, and at the office.
  • If you still manage to forget your reusable bags, you can always put everything back into your shopping cart after you pay and unload directly from the cart into your car. Then bag the items to carry in when you get home.
BYOB_6.18.15-twitter

Encinitas is BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag! Starting October 10th, the second phase of the bag ban will go into effect at local department stores. Be prepared – get your free bag at one of our bag blitz locations!

Do you have questions about the bag ban? Post them in the comments below!

Cheers to 10 Years – A Post about Pauline

This week, I Love A Clean San Diego recognizes our Executive Director, Pauline Martinson, as she celebrates her 10 year anniversary with the organization. In celebration of this milestone, we sat down with Pauline to get a better sense of what the last decade at ILACSD has meant to her.

Pauline joined I Love A Clean San Diego on August 22, 2005, after learning about an opening for an Environmental Educator position. She had a background in the environment with her degree from UC Santa Cruz, and had spent years honing her teaching skills as a Dive Instructor. As a kid growing up in Orange County, Pauline spent countless hours in the ocean. In fact, she still recalls an experience as a child where she dove under a wave and everything went black – her face had been covered by a black plastic bag. It was in that moment that she decided it was time to dedicate herself to preventing pollution and putting a stop to marine debris.

Pauline's other passion besides working at ILACSD is scuba diving in tropical waters and traveling to exotic destinations.

Pauline’s other passion besides working at ILACSD is scuba diving in tropical waters and traveling to exotic destinations.

Instead of becoming an Educator with ILACSD, she was offered the position of Project Manager, and thus began her journey here. After less than a year in that role, the organization’s Executive Director moved on, and Pauline was tapped as his replacement. She still recalls the initial shock of stepping into role as Executive Director.

“It was Coastal Cleanup Day in 2006 and as Interim Executive Director, I was responsible for speaking during the press conference kick off. I remember stepping up to the podium and looking out into a huge crowd of people. I was scared and nervous to be in front of such a large group as the center of attention, but I was also humbled that so many people were there to lend a helping hand in support of our efforts”.

Here's Pauline, giving her first speech as Executive Director of ILACSD in September 2006.

Here’s Pauline, giving her first speech as Executive Director of ILACSD in September 2006.

The shock didn’t end there. Back in 2006, the organization’s finances weren’t in the great shape that they are today, and taking over responsibility for getting the organization out of debt wasn’t a very glamorous undertaking. But, Pauline stepped up to the challenge, and has grown the organization’s total assets to more than $700,000.

Growth has been a consistent theme for the organization under Pauline’s tenure. Under her leadership, ILACSD has grown from 5 staff to 17 staff, which meant an office move back in 2010 to Liberty Station! While everyone was very excited about moving to a location with so many lunch options, it was bittersweet to say goodbye to our neighbors down the hall, San Diego River Park Foundation, and our beloved office cats.

The office cats in all their glory.

That’s right…cats. The old office was somewhat of a magnet for feral cats and their litters of kittens. Staff meetings always ended with strategy sessions on how to catch, spay/neuter, and potentially adopt these cute little furballs. One of her funniest memories at ILACSD went something like this…

“There were five kittens that would play and sleep right under one of our staff members office window (see pic below). One day, she couldn’t take it anymore and decided that she was going to pick one of the kittens up and bring it in the office for a little visit. It didn’t go well, and the kitten immediately jumped out of her arms and ran through the office until it found a little corner to hide in. I was nominated to go in and get it, wearing work gloves. Eventually, poor little Junior was taken back outside, and no one in the office ever tried that again.”

From attending cleanups to dealing with rowdy cats, ILACSD is glad to have Pauline Martinson as the leader of our organization. Cheers to another decade of her leadership and enthusiasm to keeping San Diego clean!

Thanks Pauline for keeping SD clean for ten years and counting!

Thanks, Pauline for keeping SD clean for ten years and counting!

Brittany’s litter-free beach day guide

Brittany FischerToday’s blog comes from our administrative assistant, Brittany! San Diego native, born and raised, Brittany it goes without saying that she loves our beaches and 4th of July. To get you jazzed for the long holiday weekend ahead, she has put together some of her favorite waste-free tips for a day at the beach!

 

 

Looking for something fun to do for the upcoming patriotic holiday? Why go anywhere else when you live in a city full of beautiful beaches! The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s to spend at any beach in San Diego. With so many people at our beaches, there is one thing that tends to be left behind and that’s trash. This 4th of July, Clean Beach Coalition will have large trash and recycling bins located at Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and Pacific Beach to give every beachgoer a chance to continue to keep the beach sparkling clean!  Last year alone, the CBC bins collected 96,860 lbs of trash and 2.8 MILLION pounds in the last 8 years. Pretty impressive, right? In order to prevent more trash from ending up on our beaches this holiday, I wanted to share some of my favorite things to pack in order to stay green while still rocking red, white, and blue!

CBC bins

Keep an eye out for our huge trash and recycling bins. They’ll be hard to miss so be sure to put them to good use!

The key to staying green is to pack up all your reusable items to prevent any trash! Here is my easy to follow step-by-step guide to a waste-free weekend!

  1. For starters, instead of using a Styrofoam cooler, bring a more durable reusable cooler. Not only will it last you years, it prevents any Styrofoam pieces from ending up on our beaches and the Pacific Ocean where it will never biodegrade.

    IMG_0490

    Plastic pieces are easily mistaken for food by marine animals causing serious health issues. Here are pieces mixed in with sea kelp recently found at a cleanup.

  2. When packing up your goodies, try using reusable containers to transferring and reusable silverware! Here are a couple of my personal favorite snacks to bring to my Fourth of July beach festivities:

Fourth of July Rice Crispies Treats are a favorite of mine. Not only are they easy to make, but you can put them in a reusable container and be set to go! Check out the recipe here!

Fruit Kabobs! All you need are some wooden skewers, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries and you have an ecofriendly, patriotic snack!

plastic free treats

Fruit kabobs are the perfect plastic-free treat! Although the skewers will eventually go in the trash, wood will naturally biodegrade with time, unlike plastic.

 

3. Feeling thirsty? Fill up a reusable water bottle and bring it with you! Did you know American’s throw away 35 billion water bottles a year? It’s important to reduce bringing plastics to our beaches because once plastic enters the ocean, it is extremely difficult to clean up. Don’t have a reusable water bottle? Check out some of ILACSD’s reusable water bottles online!

patriotic water bottle

Brittany always carries her reusable water bottle wherever she goes whether it’s the beach, a park or work. Check out our merchandise to get you own ILACSD gear to sport around town!

4. Don’t have anything to pack up the rest of your goods? Use a tote bag! My favorite tote bag can be washed and reused over and over again. Do your best to not bring plastic bags to the beach, not only are they not recyclable but if blown into the ocean, marine mammals can accidentally mistake them for food.

Still not ready to end your beach time this weekend? Come show your patriotism in a new way with I Love A Clean San Diego on July 5th for the Morning After Mess Cleanup. From 8-11am we will clean up the excess trash left behind on Mission Beach from the holiday celebrations. Plus, the first 400 volunteers will receive a free tee from REI!

Whether you decide to stay in San Diego this 4th of July Weekend or travel elsewhere, please enjoy the scene, but keep it clean. Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

 

 

 

The Totals are In! 2013 By The Numbers…

Today’s post comes from I Love A Clean San Diego’s Director of Development & Marketing, Morgan Justice-Black, who thinks that annual program totals are pretty much the cats pajamas!HPIM1703_cropped

As someone who spends most of my days fundraising, there is no more exciting time of the year than the end of the year. Seeing those last few donations come in before the new year rolls around and crossing my fingers that we meet our projected revenue goals has become an annual tradition for me. But I also love the end of the year for another reason…the opportunity to compile our program totals for the year!

My coworkers run their programs pretty much up until the last week of the year. This year, we had two cleanups in December, as well as education presentations in schools through December 19th! Shout out to Mission Estancia Elementary in Carlsbad for being our last presentations of 2013! Naturally, the holiday “break” was spent doing some serious math, adding up the total number of volunteers we mobilized, the number of education sessions that we hosted, and much more.

Well, I’m happy to report that the results are in! And once again, I’m in awe of how much an organization of just 12 staff can get done!

COMMUNITY EVENTS:

30,510 volunteers

440,953 pounds of debris collected

79,689 cigarette butts

5,334 straws

and a whole lot more!

EDUCATION:

28,220 youth educated

600 environmental education presentations

RECYCLING:

15,555 requests for recycling information

1 brand new repair database, www.RepairSD.org

All in all, 2013 was a great year for I Love A Clean San Diego. But I’m confident that 2014 will be even better. Why? Because we are turning 60! Not me personally of course, but I Love A Clean San Diego! Since 1954, we’ve been working to prevent pollution in San Diego County, giving us a BIG reason to celebrate! So stay tuned for how we are going to make 2014 a year to remember. Oh, and if you didn’t get your donation in before the end of the year, our mailbox is always open 😉

Community-Events-Display-Board-less_text


ILACSD Logo

Subscribe to ecoBLOGic

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email!

Join 8,930 other followers

Archives

Follow Us On Twitter


%d bloggers like this: