As you may know, our amazing mentor, Mr. Benjamin Kay loves to incorporate service learning events into his curriculum so that his students can learn more about Marine Biology and Environmental Science through movies, fairs, beach cleanups, and simply getting out into the environment to apply their knowledge to the real world. On Wednesday April 29th, 2015 our TM President Kimberly Fuentes accompanied his college students and high school student to the amazing movie “Revolution” directed by Rob Stewart and to our surprise there was also a special appearance by the one and only Rob Stewart after the movie for a Q&A session although everyone was too in awe by the movie to even process what we just watched (yes, it was that good). It did an amazing job on covering all of the current environmental issues that TM advocates for such as overfishing, ocean acidification, climate change, overpopulation, air quality, the excessive burning of fossil fuels, and politicians’ inability to compromise on these issues due to their conflicting interests. A great introduction film for all of you out there reading this that want to familiarize and educate yourself with what is happening in your world. We can not count on our government to educate us about the problems with it because they’re content with us being ignorant. That allows them to do whatever they want, but we are in charge of changing the world and starting the Revolution as we always do in time of crisis. So on that note, watch the movie yourself and share it with friends by going to therevolutionmovie.com.
Earlier this month Team Marine members Kimberly Fuentes, Hannah Persinko, and Zoe Parcells made it to the Heal the Bay Headquarters. We learned so much about water conservation but most importantly we and several other students representing their high school played a game and got a sense of what water rationing would be like if this drought gets any worse. No we’re not that bad yet but it’s only getting worse and let’s not wait till we have to ration our water for us to do something about it!
On March 27th, 2015 Team Marine students Kimberly Fuentes, Martin Liu, and Zoe Parcells won first place at the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair in the category of Environmental Management. We couldn’t be more proud not only of our team members who went to go represent us, but also of the positive feedback that we got from LA Magazine, The Santa Monica Mirror, Planet Experts, Surf Santa Monica, SMMUSD, and our school Principal Mrs. Mayoral. Of course Team Marine never competes for the prize but rather the advancement of the cause (although winning is pretty cool too)! Our year-long research study on cigarette accumulation and mitigation in Santa Monica, CA showed revolutionary results in regards to what we should do about our cigarette pollution problem and with this data we plan on marching up to Santa Monica City Council and asking them to initiate a ban on smoking cigarettes in the city of Santa Monica (except in private residences such as a car or your home). Our study shows that indeed there are areas of high cigarette butt abundance but that the deployment of cigarette receptacles would not be very efficient because these “hotspots” are subject to change in space and time as certain events such as concerts on Montana. You can see the complete results from our study in the “Research” section of our blog.
This was such an amazing learning experience as well as another great achievement to have under our belt. Although there were many times when we were literally working till the deadline and pushing ourselves to the limit since our actual research didn’t fully end until around 2 weeks before the fair we persevered and didn’t let any obstacle stop us. We would like to thank all of the amazing Samohi students that helped in collected cigarettes and data with us as well as our spectacular TM members that didn’t let anything from schoolwork to weather prevent them from making sure they collected! A special shout out to our mentor Mr. Kay who put in lots of midnights towards helping us and not giving up hope no matter how dim the odds seemed. Just goes to show that when you put in the effort and believe in yourself nothing can stop you!
Putting a bear in a plastic bag? Thats a violation of the Endangered Species Act! The school is already a place where plastic expo markers thrive as an invasive species, and now the plastic has been introduced in an alternative form: plastic wrap. This vile deleterious polyethelne product has infultrated the campus premusis and threatens all forms of wildlife. The last of these fluffy bears can be saved, if measures towards eliminating the plastic products are increased.
On Saturday January 31st, 2015 Team Marine members Kimberly Fuentes and Julian Apter, along with Andres Orellono went to the Heal the Bay headquarter in Santa Monica to participate in Phone Banking. For those of you who do not know what phone banking is, it is when volunteers call constituents of a city to see what their knowledge of the No on O Campaign was and encouraging them to oppose drilling in the Santa Monica bay and keeping the ban that we currently have on oil drilling in place. It was interesting to make these calls and hear the concerns and overall opposition to drilling in Hermosa. This was a new experience for the Team Marine, but we loved helping out our amazing partner, Heal the Bay. This is only one of the several phone banking events that Heal the Bay is holding, which is only one part of many similar events in their “Keep Hermosa Hermosa” Campaign. This campaign is working to raise awareness regarding the harms of oil drilling in the Santa Monica bay. Although (as Team Marine members found out) many people find opposing this “common sense” their are still several people that do not oppose the drilling. This is because they do not fall in the direct fall out zone of negative impacts associated with oil drilling. However, what they do not realize is that a highly potential oil spills would be catastrophic to the entire community. As we saw in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of 2010, when these spills happen not only does it destroy the marine environment and take a long time to clean up; it also kills beach tourism and negatively impacts the economy. There has also been some worrying due to the $17.5 million fine that the city would have to pay if they kept the ban in place, but rest assured because this would not raise taxes not the residents. Hermosa has been preparing money for this situation for a while now. Many thanks to Sarah Sikich and Randi Parent for helping us accomplish all the calls too!
We hope that everyone who is a registered voter in Hermosa Beach turns out to vote on March 3rd in support of our “Keep Hermosa Hermosa” and do not forget to vote No on O!
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!
January 17 marks the first beach cleanup of 2015 for Team Marine! Marine Bio and AP Environmental Science students attended the event with us raising our numbers to about 15. The event took place at Will Rodger beach, but a few of us went up the road to clean up the bluffs as well, since there was a higher concentration of trash there. Rui Tsuno, was one of our most active, important cleaners. His young age, 3 years old, did not hinder the amount of trash he picked up, as he ended up picking up the most trash out of the entire event! He is an environmentalist in the making, showing off his own Klean Kanteen and showing enthusiasm about saving our planet. Heal the Bay announced that approximately 400 people showed up, and when we left the beach looked close to paradise!
Team Marine is proud to announce that we have hit a memorable milestone. We reached 1 million page views! As a team we would like to thank all of our website viewers, to those who have been continuous followers of our blog, to those who stop by once to check us out. We are overjoyed to know that the things we do have reached so many people , and that we can see our eco message spreading around the globe ( if you scroll down you can see where in the world people are looking at the website). So thank you to everyone who has helped us achieve this amazing accomplishment! Hmmmm…Maybe we can even reach 2 million views soon!