A Cry for ‘Help’

Team Marine leader and SAMOHI Marine Biology teacher Benjamin Kay’s picture became a viral hit, which shows him beside his surfboard, with the word ‘help’ spelled out using trash. This culminated with his appearance on NBC, where he spoke about reusing their products and for people to rethink their lifestyles. The image came about during one of Kay’s surfing trips, when he noticed the trash around him and decided to collect it. Stuffing anything he found into his wetsuit, he later took some trash and arranged it to form ‘help’ and then properly disposed of it. Within TWO days of posting it on Facebook, the image went viral, from Foam Magazine to 5gyres.org, which finally concluded with his NBC appearance. As Kay urged, “We shouldn’t be adopting a disposable culture,” and Team Marine continues to fight for this helpful change in our environment.

Kay’s NBC can be found here:
Posted by Ivan Morales

First Flush gets news recognition

After our recent emergency beach clean up on the first flush of the year, we were recognized in at least 3 different online news articles. This shows the public’s interest for youth who try making differences. The more media coverage we get, the better. Our goal is to try to get the world to hear our message, and hopefully get some people to jump on the Eco-bandwagon. Every time we appear in the local newspapers, blogs, or online articles it helps us get our message a little more wide-spread.
The articles can be found at the following links:

Posted by: Alexis Saez

Quickscience Challenge!

Team Marine has entered into the 2011-2012 Quick Science Challenge! The science competition is hosted by USC and Quicksilver. Team Marine has entered two separate teams of eight students each for this year’s challenge. The first team entered into the competition is what we like to call the “Bag Team”. This team is focusing on a grocery store survey conducted by Alexis Saez, Lilie Gross, Matilda Meade, Natalie Zunaga, Jesse Robertson, Maykel Pernia, George Castillo, and Edie Cote. The survey determines how many people use paper, plastic, reusable, or no bag when shopping. It also shows the sex and age of each participant surveyed. The “Bag Team” plans to use this information to encourage cities around the nation that a bag ban is both possible and effective. The second team is called the “Car Team”. This team is currently converting a 1971 gas guzzling Volkswagon Super Beetle into a clean and fully electric battery run vehicle. The “Car Team” is spearheaded by Patricio Guerro, Ian Levinson, Cassandra Kliewer, Kalon Cheung, Justin Tavaf, Ivan Morales, and Talal Alabdali. Good luck to both teams competing this year!

written by Lilie Gross

The Good Food Festival

 Today, Team Marine attended the spectacular Good Foods Festival, which was held on our very own SAMOHI campus. This was a festival dedicated to showing the community that great food is readily available and giving everyone a taste of some of the best of it! The event also made sure to show people who attended that eating well and being sustainable went hand in hand.

Team Marine played a part here; we showed people of all ages different ways that they could live more sustainably by using reusable products, adopting alternative energy sources or just by understanding the effects of everyday activities on the environment.

We also had a lot of fun meeting some awesome people and trying some amazingly delicious food! The Team got the opportunity to talk to environmental performance artists, square-dancers (Check out Ian with them in the first picture!), organic farmers, bean-enthusiasts, and Julia, the lovely coordinator of the Good Food event. Also, congrats to all the new Team Marine recruits who really showed us their stuff today working in the booths.

Overall, this was an amazing opportunity and if anyone can get the chance to check the event out at SAMOHI, tomorrow, Sunday, September 18th, do it! Or you can check out the page for Good Food festivals to find an event near you or just to learn some cool stuff:


Remember to support local organic food, eat well and live a sustainable lifestyle!

Reusable David Defeats Plastic Goliath!

ChicoBag, a company very close to Team Marine, was pressed with a grim lawsuit this summer. Andy Keller, the founder of ChicoBag, was being sued by massive plastic bag companies, including Hilex Poly Company, LLC, Superbag Operating, LTD., and Advance Polybag, Inc. The companies said the facts posted on Keller’s site about the harmful effects of plastic bags were slander that was hurting their business. ChicoBag fought back, rallying more than 25,000, yes, that’s right, 25,000 people, with an online petition against the bag companies. Because of the public input and support from groups like Team Marine, all of the major plastic bag companies dropped their lawsuits! Though courts ruled that all facts posted on the ChicoBag website had to be cited, proving their validity, this was an easy compromise (because they were all true!). The same went for the websites of the plastic bag companies. Fun Fact: One bag company had written on their site that “12% of plastic bags were recycled,” when in reality, only 1% are! This is a huge Eco-victory and another step in the decline of the plastic bag industry. Congrats to Andy for making it out on top! Check out his site at:


Photo: Andy Keller dressed as the “Plastic Bag Monster”

Plastic Ban Reaches Santa Cruz!

This past Tuesday, the County of Santa Cruz passed what is being called the “stiffest” grocery store bag laws in California. Yay! It seems that other counties are seeing the great work that has been done in Santa Monica, Oakland, San Jose, and other cities in California and have begun to draft their own bag bans! Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before a state-wide (or maybe even national!) plastic bag ban! Lots of love to the people in Santa Cruz who petitioned their leaders to make this possible!

For more info read all about it in Jason Hoppin’s article.

Good Food Festival!

Like food? Like good food? Well on Sept. 17 & 18, the local Santa Monica Farmer’s Market along with other well-known, and delicious, food vendors will celebrate the farmers market’s 30th anniversary by launching a Good Foods festival partnered with Family Farmedhere at Samohi! The event will start at 10:00 am and end at 7:00 pm both days and an admission ticket costing $10 will admit you to workshops, delicious food sampling, and lots of fun for the whole family.

Team Marine will be at the festival both days to taste delicious, fresh food and help discard and recycle all of the trash. If you would like to learn more about the event please visit the Good Food website or their Twitter account.

2011-2012 Season has Officially Started!

Today, Team Marine met with junior prospects interested in joining Team Marine for a few hours after school. Mr. Kay, our 4-year assistant coach Renee Klein, and the team talked about the requirements to be in Team Marine and the very exciting competitions we will be taking place in this year. So far, two projects have been established for the 2011-2012 QuikSCience Challenge: our grocery store bag research and the VW Beetle EV conversion. We look forward to having a very successful year and lots of thanks to the juniors who showed up today, Renee, Mr. Kay, and Samo chemistry teacher Mr. Harris for volunteering to help coach the EV team!

Plastic Bags Ban goes into Effect

Whats non-recylcable, made from oil, and banned from Santa Monica? Plastic grocery bags!

Thanks to the the voiced complaints of Santa Monica citizens, The Santa Monica City council drafted a ban on single-use bags which went into affect four days ago! Lots of thanks to the Team Marine, SSA, and Heal the Bay club members who took time during finals week last year to protest at city hall on the day this band was proposed.

Chris Paine comes to Samohi!

At the end of this past school year, former Team Marine member Aidan Richker helped to bring the famous documentary film maker Chris Paine to SAMOHI to do a special guest lecture for the marine bio students. Chris Paine is responsible for the shocking and informative documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? While at samo, Chris Paine also brought his all-electric Tesla car… Mr Kay even got to test drive it! Lots of thanks to Mr. Paine for coming down and Aidan for making it happen!