California Bag Ban Passed!

If you haven’t heard already, we have just had a HUGE environmental win on August 29th, 2014 with Senate Bill 270. After eight long hardworking years of Team Marine student involvement, both the California Senate and Assembly have passed a STATE plastic bag ban with a speedy signature from Gov. Jerry Brown expected to follow. We aided efforts with award winning scientific researchtestified numerous times in city halls across the county;  marched six times through city streets; created multiple PSA videos and documented six years of storm drain runoff (first flush); We also did eco-artwork;  lobbied three times at the state capitol buildingcalled and wrote our representatives!

Not to mention we leveraged every kind of multimedia including (but not limited to) TVnewspapersmagazinesblogs,radiopodcasts, and books. We collaborated with more than a dozen NGO’s and academic institutions; educated countless audiences with lesson plansspeeches, and booth presentationsTweeted, Instagrammed, Face Booked , and blogged continuously on our website approaching 1 million page views. After all of this we finally won!

Special thanks to the entire Clean Seas Coalition, Leslie Tamminen, and all who contributed to this multi-year effort. Here’s to progress and youth making a difference!

Check out what Team Marine did to help make this possible below:

Team Marine Featured in a Book!


We are deeply honored and proud to announce that Team Marine has been featured in the book “Empowering Young Voices for the Planet” by Lynne Cherry, Juliana Texley, and Suzanne E. Lyons. We would like to thank Team Marine ’07-’08 for their leadership that led to our inclusion in this book and for leading the way in banning the plastic bag in California. This amazing book is an educational resource for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) teachers looking to empower their students to take action in their own communities and learn the science behind climate change. Special thank you to Lynne Cherry, Juliana Texley, and Suzanne E. Lyons and to Team Marine ’07-’08 for making this happen.

You can buy the book here:



Thank You!!


On June 19th, Team Marine united once more for a meeting to thank all of our supporters and sponsors that aided our efforts this amazing year. Thanks to the talents of Team Marine members Hannah Persinko and Kimberly Fuentes we had homemade “Thank You” cards made and signed by all members present. It was definitely a fun-filled afternoon as we reminisced over all of our accomplishments this year and a grateful one at that as we personalized the cards with messages. The list of people we had to thank is too long to fit in one blog post but we would just like to acknowledge  Mimi and Russel Poon-Fear for donating us the amazing 1971 Volkswagen superbeetle 4 years ago with the hopes that we may convert it into an electric vehicle! We would also like to thank our encouraging and dedicated mentor, Mr. Benjamin Kay, for always pushing us to be a better team and believing in us this whole year. From being on CNN Latino, to getting ACE to give a presentation to our school, being on the Sound Radio, having the best Life Straws year EVER, going to lobby at Sacramento on Ocean Day, and going to the mini maker’s faire in Pasadena this year was jam-packed opportunities and events for the team! Without all of the unconditional support that we received from everyone none of this could’ve been achieved, so on behalf of everyone on Team Marine, thank you.


Team Marine End of Year Party!

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On Sunday, June 8, Team Marine attended a party at member Ellie’s house to celebrate the end of another sustainable year. In addition, we celebrated with a special Team Marine cake (check it out below). Special thanks to Joel and Ellie Reynolds for making this party possible!

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Team Marine Seniors Graduated!

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On Friday, June 6th 2014, Team Marine’s  seniors graduated. Stoles were ordered by senior Aubrey Dondick and the graduates wore them proud. Mr. Kay and the rest of Team Marine wishes them the best of luck for next year and beyond!

Angelina Hwang will be attending Duke University

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Aubrey Dondick will be attending Oregon State University

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Ellie Reynolds will be attending McGill University


Katie Oran will be attending State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry


ACE Assembly!


On April 1st, we co-hosted an Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) presentation with ASB, Solar Alliance, and Heal the Bay Surfrider clubs at Santa Monica High School. We had two, hour-long, presentations with approximately three hundred students each. This presentation was important because there are many students that are unaware of the effects of climate change. An interactive and engaging presentation brought environmental awareness to our peers; we love to eco-educate to eco-activate our community. We learned about the increase of carbon emissions creating a greenhouse layer in our atmosphere which heats up the planet, therefore increasing sea level rise and causing ocean acidification. Thank you to Kristina von Hoffman, the West Coast Region ACE associate program director, for giving us this eye opening presentation.

Mini-Maker Fair!


On Saturday March 29th, 2014 Team Marine was invited to attend the Los Angeles Mini Maker’s Fair where we exhibited our fabulous Volts Wattson once more. The Mini Maker’s Fair is a collaboration of the Los Angeles County Science Fair where “makers” show off our inventions (or in our case conversions) to fellow inventors as well as the public. It was such a great experience to be able to be in the midst of such great exhibitions where we were able to see a 3-D printer, the Aquarium of the Pacific portable aquarium, and also a interactive exhibit where you could make a 3-D image of yourself! It was so inspiring to see all of the inventions, as well as the curiosity of the public to learn about our electric car conversion. The point of our conversion and bringing it out to these events is to eco-educate others about the benefits of driving electric, so you can guess our excitement when after talking to a few people we actually convinced a family to go buy an electric car! Special thanks to Mr. Gerald Blackburn for inviting us to this great event, and we hope to return next year!

Team Marine T-Shirts have Arrived!


This Thursday, March 20, our 2013-2014 Team Marine T-Shirts arrived in the mail from Custom Ink! Our T-shirts are also organic cotton and display our sponsor’s logos. Team Marine will now be sporting our new shirts to every event, including the POPS Youth Summit (see below) and our upcoming trip to Sacramento!

Thank you to our sponsors Wells Fargo, Jason Andrew,  the Alliance for Climate Education, Kristina von Hoffmann, Plug in America, Paul Scott, the Poon Fear Family, Mimi Fear, Russell Fear, Left Coast Electric, Trexa, QuikSCience, and the City of Santa Monica.  Also, thank you to Custom Ink for providing and helping out with the shirts!

Recycling Sorting Event


With one of Team Marine’s main focus being reducing plastic pollution, it is truly amazing that by recycling cans and bottles we can keep them off our beaches and also use them to buy life straws. Thanks to our mentor, Mr. Kay, not only did Team Marine participate in this recycling sorting event but also his marine biology, biology, and college students! It was great of them to come help and it made the whole process a lot quicker when it became a group effort. One of my favorite parts out of the whole thing however was when our glass bottle group decided that they would make some eco-art of their own and truthfully displayed “The United States of America”  out of glass bottles. It was a humorous moment and although that looks like a lot of bottles it was barely a fraction of what we collected that day. Compared to our past sorting events this one definitely takes the cake. I am proud to say that altogether we collected 8,550 #1 plastics, 385 #2 plastics, 1731 aluminum cans, and 923 glass bottles for a grand total of 11,589 cans and bottles! We raised more than $579.45 for Water Solutions for Life which means about 105 lifestraws which is way more than we have ever gotten this entire year! Needless to say, today was an amazing day for life straws. So far we have funded for around 262 lifestraws which really makes a huge difference in the life of someone who may not have access to clean drinking water. In fact it probably saves their life, and that is why this is one of our most important long term projects that we strongly believe in. To learn more about Water Solutions for Life please visit

— Kimberly Fuentes


Third Flush Clean-Up!


On February 28, 2014 the third flush of the 2013-2014 school year occurred. Although the rain was much needed because of the drought, the horrendous amount of Styrofoam and plastic was not as welcomed. The vast amount of water that these rain storms created pushed out any remaining plastics that were stuck in the drains from the last storm as well as approximately a months worth of build up. There was an abundance of Styrofoam objects, as well as plastic water bottles and clear plastic bags. Thanks to the Santa Monica and Los Angeles bag ban though, the usual grocery store plastic bag was not as common as in previous flushes. However,  we found one of the new  “reusable”  black plastic bags that claimed to be keeping “So. Cal. Beautiful” laying right on the shore (see below). It was not a “beautiful” sight to see. We were on the beach for several hours picking up as many plastics and trash  possible. Seeing all the trash on the edges of the Pico-Kenter storm drain supported the frightening realization that it was only a fraction of what entered into the ocean. Fortunately, Team Marine prevented a total of three large bags of plastics and trash from polluting our beautiful coast.