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:



STEM Event at California Yacht Club


On the 25th of July 2014, we, Team Marine, met in Marina Del Rey in order to attend the Sailing through STEM night, where we showcased both our 1971 electric Volkswagen Superbeetle, our newly started cigarette study and recycling game. The event, which took place at the California Yacht club, was composed of diversified stations that incorporated various fields of science through the display of technological advances and real-life applications pertaining to sailing. Our station primarily focused upon the adverse effects of ocean acidification, which aggresses both boats and the shells of calcareous marine organism, and climate change, which could challenge our ability to sail or even survive, on sailing and planet Earth as a whole, as well as solutions to these issues. One such solution, is the replacement of gas combustion engine car by electric vehicles, for these vehicles have a consequently reduced impact on the environment that we cherish. This feat is principally achieved by them being more efficient as to energy input versus output. Moreover, the energy used to produce electricity is shifting toward renewable energy sources. 

We presented mainly to a population of younger students interested both in the STEM subject areas and sailing.  We spoke fluently about the Superbeetle and our other projects, often discussing the process of converting the car. Those students who attended our station were extremely pleased to learn about the environment; one of them went as far as to state that he was so inspired by our work that he would pursue engineering later in life.

All in all, this event was a wonderful time of rejoicing, for we have had the opportunity to instruct those younger than us concerning the problems –but also solutions- currently plaguing our environment, our world. We would truly like to thank the California Yacht Club for hosting this phenomenal event as well as Jessica Servis for her great work in organizing it.


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


“No es Basura” Exposition

The leaders of the environmental community!

 On Thursday April the 24th, 2014, we went to an art gallery at EarthWE. This exposition, named “no es basura”, was a joint project between environmentalist Peter Kreitler and John Reiff Williams. Photographed trash arranged in an esthetic way collected over a span of 90 days was diplayed there. During the event, we met both local activists and celebrities of the environmental world, including Anna Cummins, the cofounder of 5 Gyres. This art exposition demonstrated to us the high amount of plastic pollution in our beaches. We also were galvanized by knowing the actions taken by the leaders of the environmental movement. We would like to thank the artists, Mr. Kreitler and Williams as well as the EarthWE gallery for hosting the event.

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!