Plastics R 4 Ever!

Team Marine, with the assistance from Dr. Marcus Erikson of 5 Gyres, helped build three boats made out of thrown away plastic materials that were presented at Algalita’s Plastics are Forever Youth Training and Summit :
The Cola Canoe:
Made out of old two liter soda bottles recovered from donations and SAMOHI’s own dumpsters.
Rethink” Paddle Board:

The “Rethink” paddle board is the epitome of re-using old products to create something beautiful. The board itself was built out of five separate broken surfboards molded into one stand-up paddle surfboard. Every single lighter decorated on the board was given to Marcus by the Midway Atoll Institute. Plastic lighters are one of the many major pollutants of our waters and the lighters seen here were recovered from the sea along with the stomachs of albatross and other animals.
The Straw Boat:
The Straw Boat was made out of about 8,000 plastic straws that Team Marine had been saving over a few years. The boat was designed by our very own eco-engineer, Patricio G, and used bundles of plastic straws glued between bottle caps to maintain buoyancy.
These three boats were unveiled at the Plastics R 4 Ever youth summit and were launched out into the water in Long Beach. Lots of thanks to Marcus Erikson and the Algalita foundation.

Meeting with SMMUSD Board

Team Marine, Heal the Bay Surfrider Club, Malibu’s Eco Team, and Samohi’s Solar Alliance proposed a student-created sustainable policy for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to two board members, Ben Allen and Ralph Mechur. All of these great groups realize that SMMUSD is a bit behind the City of Santa Monica in sustainability, and are ready to help the district catch up.

In our draft of a sustainable policy we hope to achieve the following:

  • Bring sustainable products to our school
  • Change the behavior of our students and teachers to be more sustainable
  • Educate those involved with the district on sustainability
  • Improve sustainable water and power practices in the district

The board was very impressed with our dedication, and ensured us that they would try meeting our requests depending on the topic. We’d like to thank the Mr. Allen and Mr. Mechur for taking time out of their busy schedule to listen to our long and detailed presentations. We are looking forward to future meetings with the board.

Lot of Lighters & Marcus Eriksen

Left to Right: Marcus Erikson, Patricio, Nhi, Talia, Aidan.

Yesterday, February 18th, 2011, Dr. Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres came to Team Marine to assist him with one of his newest projects. He walked in the classroom with a huge box full of over 1000 lighters. We have previously helped Dr. Eriksen in building a pontoon, named JUNK, to sail in the rough oceans. This time he wants a paddle-board!

Dead Laysan Albatross with Stomach Contents. Note the Lighter!

Every lighter came from the Midway Atoll, many from the stomachs of the Laysan Albatross birds. The Midway Atoll is known for having huge problems with marine debris. 1.5 million dead Laysan Albatross have been found dead on the Midway Atoll; almost every bird has died from starvation because their stomachs are full of plastic marine debris that washes up on shore. We spent over three hours hammering, plying, and smashing these lighters’ caps of.We are working to Dr. Eriksen to figure out how to transform these lighters into a paddle-board. Thank you Dr. Eriksen for allowing us to help you in this awareness-invoking creative project.

TM and Jean-Michel

The LA group with Jean-Michel Cousteau

While in DC, Team Marine members were able to meet with Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who spent much of his life exploring the oceans with his father. TM and the Captain’s son congregated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on February 15th, 2011 where Cousteau was giving a presentation entitled “The Great Ocean Adventure.” He spoke about his continued efforts in protecting our world’s oceans. Sounds good to us! It was an honor to spend time with the legendary explorer, and again thank Alicia and the Aquarium of The Pacific for this opportunity.

“A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it.” – Jean-Yves Cousteau

TM in DC

Smiling faces going to far away places

Team Marine members Kou, Sandra Jay, Aidan, and Jesse are in Washington, D.C. repping Team Marine!

They were able to relax their first night in the capital, settling in their hotel rooms and eating pizza. On their first morning they visited famous monuments of D.C. such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Albert Einstein Memorial, and The American History Museum. Later the members met with other delegates and attended an ice breaker for networking. On their second day they visited the Natural History Museum and presented our Team Marine projects to the audience of delegates. Throughout the event, they were lucky enough to have panelists providing feedback on our project and their presentation. We are so proud of our members in D.C. and hope they are able to influence other Eco-Beasts to follow in our foot steps. We’d like to thank Ms. Catherine Baxter for accompanying our members to DC as a school official, as well as Alicia and the whole Aquarium of the Pacific family for this great opportunity.

>Santa Monica Finally Bans the Bag


Dear fellow Eco-Beasts,

After 3 years of hard work fighting against plastic supporters like the American Chemistry Council and Save the Plastic Bag, the Santa Monica City Council voted in favor for the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance. Team Marine was able to attend the Council meeting, and loved hearing all our fellow Eco-Beasts speak, such as Mark Gold of Heal the Bay and Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and Environment staff. Michelle S, Gregory B, and Nhi H all spoke beautifully as well. We brought our A-game as well as our scariest plastic monsters. The plastic bag industry was no match for our green unity! Plastic bags will be prohibited from grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience marts, etc. Paper bags can be provided for not less than 10 cents. Make sure to stock up on reusable bags, preferably ones made in the US without harmful chemicals. It’s so easy!

Go Reusable, it is Doable!

Team Marine and HtB:

Huge thanks to the Office of Sustainability and Environment, Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation, The Daily Ocean, the Clean Seas Coalition, and everyone else who has fought towards this goal!

>Goodbye Plastic Bag

>Message from a plastic bag:

“I’d like to thank Santa Monica for having me in the past decades. Although we had our differences, we seemed to work well together.  I’m sad to say that it looks like we will be separated by law today, due to the fact that SM will get a restraining order against me. I will find ways to continue to enter the beautiful City of Santa Monica and its waters, through cities that have not yet gotten rid of me. Here’s some pictures of us through the years”

>Santa Monica looks to Ban the Bag


Plastic Pollution in Santa Monica will take a major hit on January 25nd, 2011 if a city-wide ordinance banning single-use plastic bags passes. Team Marine has been waiting for a ban on the single-use plastic bag for many years, but one has always been put down or postponed by the Council members of the City of Santa Monica. There is positive speculation that Santa Monica’s Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance will pass through the Council and be enacted. With this ban, all businesses in Santa Monica will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags, and will have to put a fee on single-use paper bags. The goal is to encourage the residents and visitors of Santa Monica to convert to sustainable, reusable bags.

Join Team Marine and many other Eco-Beasts from all over Southern California at 5:30pm at:


Office of Sustainability and Environment:

Single-use plastic bags contribute to:

  • increased litter (including storm drain, marine and beach pollution), that persists in the environment for decades
  • green house gas emissions
  • Santa Monica‚Äôs residents and other taxpayers pay the clean-up costs and landfill fees

>Team Marine x UCLA


Team Marine members, as well as Marine Biology students, and senior UCLA students met on Friday January 21st to collaborate on two different research projects. The UCLA students are led by Dr. Rebecca Shipe of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. The first group, named Group Microbes, will be studying the relationship between harmful algal blooms (HABs) and Enterococcus in the Santa Monica Bay. The second group, dubbed Group Runoff, will study the output of marine debris from the Ballona Creek into the Santa Monica Bay. We are very excited to begin working with these passionate students, and would like to thank Dr. Shipe for giving us this great opportunity.

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