On October 20th Team Marine captains Amanda and Zoe, and Mr. Kay presented to a total of around 120 students at UCLA for the Earth Now: Earth 2050 event put on by the UCLA Office of the Environment and Sustainability. We presented to three different high schools in the LA area about the state of our planet surrounding environmental issues such as climate change and what actions we undertook to mitigate climate change and pollution in our school and community. The presentation consisted of two components: the scope of the earth’s environmental problems and our community-based solutions. We mentioned some projects and activities such as our water audit, cigarette study, plastic bottle/cap art, and protests/marches just to name a few. We hope to see what the student attendees will do in their communities as they undergo environmental stewardship
On Saturday, January the 17th, Ben Allen swore in to become the newly-elected state senator from district 26. The event took place in Santa Monica High school’s very own Barnum Hall and featured a multitude of marvelous music performances as well as a series of speeches acclaiming the senator’s work. Ben, a Samohi alumnus, has always been a strong advocate of environmental protection. As such, a rainbow fills our hearts, for this is a great loss for our city and school district but yet a greater gain for the entire state of California. Thus, we truly hope that he will make a meaningful impact in Sacramento in enacting pro-environment policies and wish him the best of luck as he heads toward a bright – smog-free – future.
In order to estimate the amount of cigarette butts that escape proper disposal and currently litter our oceans, Team Marine conducted two beach cleanups: one on November 20th and another on December 5th of 2014. Both of these cleanups occurred in the area surrounding the Pico-Kenter storm drain. The first cleanup took place two weeks after the “first flush” while the second cleanup occurred two days after a rain. Members of high school and college Biology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science classes also helped with the collection. After collecting the cigarettes, Team Marine weighed, counted and calculated the average amounts of cigarettes. We found that during the first collection 7,642 cigarette were collected while 12,938 cigarettes were collected in the second, leaving the total amount of cigarettes at a whopping 20,580. While we were proud to have collected and recorded so much trash, these astonishing numbers prove that there is a lot of work to be done. And unless we make significant change to the way we consume and dispose of our waste, our predicament will only become worse
Team Marine’s newest member, Cody Walker Kay, has started his eco endeavor early in life. Known as an honorary member of Team Marine that will become an ecowarrior and save the world, baby Cody has been getting lots of love and hope from the environmental community lately. Legends tell of a blessed child, whose touch changes barrels of oil into solar panels. Thanks to Caroleigh Pierce for the generous presents from Klean Kanteen Cody is set for a Klean life!
Two of our members Aubrey Dondick and Angelina Hwang were given the opportunity to speak with interviewer Cynthia Fox on 100.3 The Sound LA about the environmental issues that we face today.
Team Marine on October 16, 2014 received a commendation from the Board of Education. We got this honor because of the hard work we put forth for the last eight years regarding the state wide plastic bag ban, which recently passed. Three of our best speakers took the podium and went through a short powerpoint highlighting what service learning, research, and artwork we have accomplished in support of the statewide plastic bag ban. After viewing this, we hope that they take into consideration the three ideas that we gave them to improve the district in a sustainable way. The first idea we would like to see implemented is a sustainability committee that includes all stake holders: parents, teachers and students. Secondly, to adopt “environmental literacy ” in our mission statement so that all students graduating from SMMUSD be environmentally literate. Finally, to increase environmental education opportunities for both students and teachers. We are deeply thankful that the board thought of us, and recognized us, and we hope to see the district become more sustainable, together.
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.