Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Santa Monica Finally Bans the Bag

Dear fellow Eco-Beasts,

After 3 years of hard work fighting against plastic supporters like the American Chemistry Council and Save the Plastic Bag, the Santa Monica City Council voted in favor for the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance. Team Marine was able to attend the Council meeting, and loved hearing all our fellow Eco-Beasts speak, such as Mark Gold of Heal the Bay and Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and Environment staff. Michelle S, Gregory B, and Nhi H all spoke beautifully as well. We brought our A-game as well as our scariest plastic monsters. The plastic bag industry was no match for our green unity! Plastic bags will be prohibited from grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience marts, etc. Paper bags can be provided for not less than 10 cents. Make sure to stock up on reusable bags, preferably ones made in the US without harmful chemicals. It's so easy!

Go Reusable, it is Doable!

Team Marine and HtB:

Huge thanks to the Office of Sustainability and Environment, Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation, The Daily Ocean, the Clean Seas Coalition, and everyone else who has fought towards this goal!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Goodbye Plastic Bag

Message from a plastic bag:

"I'd like to thank Santa Monica for having me in the past decades. Although we had our differences, we seemed to work well together.  I'm sad to say that it looks like we will be separated by law today, due to the fact that SM will get a restraining order against me. I will find ways to continue to enter the beautiful City of Santa Monica and its waters, through cities that have not yet gotten rid of me. Here's some pictures of us through the years"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Santa Monica looks to Ban the Bag

Plastic Pollution in Santa Monica will take a major hit on January 25nd, 2011 if a city-wide ordinance banning single-use plastic bags passes. Team Marine has been waiting for a ban on the single-use plastic bag for many years, but one has always been put down or postponed by the Council members of the City of Santa Monica. There is positive speculation that Santa Monica's Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance will pass through the Council and be enacted. With this ban, all businesses in Santa Monica will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags, and will have to put a fee on single-use paper bags. The goal is to encourage the residents and visitors of Santa Monica to convert to sustainable, reusable bags.

Join Team Marine and many other Eco-Beasts from all over Southern California at 5:30pm at:

Office of Sustainability and Environment:

Single-use plastic bags contribute to:
  • increased litter (including storm drain, marine and beach pollution), that persists in the environment for decades
  • green house gas emissions
  • Santa Monica’s residents and other taxpayers pay the clean-up costs and landfill fees

Team Marine x UCLA

Team Marine members, as well as Marine Biology students, and senior UCLA students met on Friday January 21st to collaborate on two different research projects. The UCLA students are led by Dr. Rebecca Shipe of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. The first group, named Group Microbes, will be studying the relationship between harmful algal blooms (HABs) and Enterococcus in the Santa Monica Bay. The second group, dubbed Group Runoff, will study the output of marine debris from the Ballona Creek into the Santa Monica Bay. We are very excited to begin working with these passionate students, and would like to thank Dr. Shipe for giving us this great opportunity.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sea Pulse at the Lodge Recap

Team Marine had an awesome day hanging out and learning from other Eco-Beasts in the area. We were able to screen and spread the important information contained in our 10 R's video (Part 1 and Part 2). Thank you to Bill MacDonald, Dance 4 Oceans, Captain Charles Moore, and everyone else who attended Sea Pulse at the Electric Lodge today!

These guys are awesome!:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Team Marine in the Huffington Post

A huge thanks to the Huffington Post and Lisa Kaas Boyle to writing about Team Marine in their article entitled "Youth Movement to Reduce Plastic Pollution". It was great to read about other fellow students in the area fighting against plastic pollution with us!

Read the article here: Huffington Post

Team Marine in the Santa Monica Argonaut!

Check us out at The Argonaut's website, concerning Saturday's Sea Pulse Film Festival.

"...the 10 R's film, a solutions program, produced, directed and starring Santa Monica High School students from the multi-award-winning sustainability club, Team Marine."

Click here to read the article: The Argonaut

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ban the Bag in Santa Monica

Go Reusable! It is Doable! Ban the Plastic Bag!

On Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 Santa Monica's City Councilmembers will hopefully pass the Single-use Carryout Bag Ordinance. This will ban plastic bags and put a cost on single-use paper bags in the city. Team Marine has been waiting for this to happen for about three years. We are very excited to attend the Council meeting, and will be involved in the meeting. Students will be giving speeches, dressing up in plastic pollution suits, presenting the results of petitions and research projects, protesting silently with signs, etc. Known as one of the greenest cities in the country, Santa Monica needs to pass this ban!

What do we want? To ban the plastic bag! When do we want it? Now! 

The public meeting will be held on Tuesday January 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM in the in Council Chambers, located at City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica.

Sea Pulse Films

Team Marine This Weekend at the Lodge
with Sea Pulse!

Sea Pulse

Saturday January 22nd, 1:30-4:30

Discover  the beauty and the threats to the world ocean!
Presented by filmmaker Bill  MacDonald.
Join us for an afternoon of film, discussion, and a live performance by Dance4Oceans, concerning the health of our local wetlands and oceans everywhere.
$5-$10 Suggested donation
Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291 (310) 306-1854

Sarah and Garen's Gyres Trip

Our fellow Eco-Beasts made the Santa Monica Daily Press! Check out their article.

Don't forget that you can help too. Just take five minutes to donate $5 or more. Every dollar counts! Find Sarah and Garen at The Daily Ocean.

Donate directly by clicking here: Donate $5

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Team Marine at the Electric Lodge

Come watch Team Marine's 10 R's video, as well as other environmentally friendly videos, at the Electric Lodge on January 22nd, 2011! Bill Macdonald's Sea Pulse Films will be hosting the event from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Other videos to be shown include The World Ocean "Trashed"The Majestic Plastic Bag, Whales Die, Zombies Dance (in protest).

Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Avenue
CA 90291-3734
(310) 306-1854

HTBSC Water Quality Report

Zach Gold with sample tray and Safe to Surf? board

On December 23, 2010, Heal the Bay Surfrider Club's Teach and Test Program conducted water quality tests in Santa Monica, after a long episode of rain. Their results were horrifying. Extremely high levels of fecal bacteria were visible in all samples. Zach Gold, Co-president of the club, recommended that all stay out of the water for the time being. Sites that were tested included the Pico-Kenter Drain, the Santa Monica Pier, and Lifeguard Station 26. Visit local surf shops in Santa Monica to check current bacteria levels.

Sample testing trays; glowing cells show high levels of fecal bacteria

Monday, January 3, 2011

More Recycling. More LifeStraws.

On December 17th, 2010 Team Marine and Heal the Bay/Surfrider Club worked through heavy rain to count and sort recyclable containers. These recyclables will be saved to trade in for LifeStraws to send to people around the world without clean water sources. The LifeStraw is a portable water filtration system that prevents common diarrhoeal diseases from causing sickness. We recycled 5400 containers, which will provide 48 LifeStraws, and potentially save 48 lives. A huge thanks to all those who volunteered to sort with us in the pouring rain!

110 recyclables = 1 LifeStraw

We recycled 5400 containers, which will provide 48-49 LifeStraws, and potentially save 48-49 lives. A huge thanks to all those who volunteered to sort with us in the pouring rain!

Planting Trees with TreePeople

Flavia Watering Trees & Sawdust in Cement Bays
On Monday, December 27, Flavia Cahn - our Gardening Committee leader - traveled to Oxnard to volunteer at a TreePeople event. TreePeople focuses on planting trees, particularly fruit trees, in low-income Los Angeles communities. They have planted fruit streets all over the city: in public gardens, individual's backyards and on school campuses. In low-income neighborhoods, fresh, organic and healthy food is expensive and hard to come by. For this reason, TreePeople plant easy-to-care-for fruit trees that provide food, shade, beauty, and better air and water quality. TreePeople does other amazing green events such as mountain restorations to benefit the more needy members of our community. 
At the event Flavia and TreePeople unloaded a grand total of 3000 fruit trees. Peach, plum, nectarine, apple and apricot trees of all different varieties were sorted, and then organized into cement-lined bays to stay there until they are ready for planting in South Los Angeles schools. Once the trees were set up in the bays, moist sawdust was shoveled between them in order to keep them upright and to keep the roots alive.

TreePeople operates mostly on donations – not only money donations, so please be generous. Visit this link to find out more:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Recycling at the Rose Bowl!

Team Marine and Marine Biology students from Santa Monica High School
After a morning of recycling on New Years Day, "our total was 2147 plastics, 1300 cans, and 453 glass", according to Jane Davidson of the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA. Team Marine worked alongside San Gabrielino High School, UCLA, and SaMo's Marine Biology students to recycle trash left behind from Pasadena's Rose Parade. We rocked out "Ask Me Why I'm Recycling" T-Shirts, signifying that we were recycling for LifeStraws. The LifeStraw is a portable water filtration system that prevents common diarrhoeal diseases from sickening less fortunate people in third world countries. We had a great time helping fellow Eco-Beasts make SoCal a greener, cleaner place.