Friday, March 30, 2012

Have you visited 5

A week ago, 5 Gyres, a non profit organization devoted to educating the public on plastic pollution, published a blog post about Team Marine's latest video on the first flush. Their name derives from the 5 major ocean subtropical gyres, which have now accumulated plastic pollution. 5 Gyres hopes to eliminate all plastic pollution in the ocean, a daunting yet reachable goal. 5 Gyres has an impressive website, which is not only well organized, but also includes an interactive map of all ocean gyres and their plastic pollution. Also, kudos to Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins were nominated by Team Marine's advisor, Benjamin Kay, to be  Wyland Foundation Earth Month Heroes.

Thank you 5 Gyres for your inspiration and for mentioning us!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sustainability Bill of Rights Resolution

Santa Monica has continuously been a leader in environmental sustainability. The Santa Monica City Sustainability Plan was first adopted in 1994. Now, in 2012, the council is taking under consideration the Sustainability Bill of Rights Resolution. The passing of the SBR ordinance means the rights of people will be protected and people will have access to clean air, land, and water. On January 24th, Team Marine went to the Santa Monica City Hall to support the Sustainability Bill of Rights. Prior to the City Council Meeting, the supporters gathered on the steps of City Hall for a rally. Team Marine signed the SBR Student Support Poster, showing that the youth care about the environment and the future of Santa Monica. As a unified group, we entered the council chambers and our members spoke in front of the council explaining that people are entitled to constitutional rights, not corporations. We made our opinions heard about our vision of a future where renewable energy sources are used to generate energy, clean water is affordable and accessible, and wastes are disposed of in a way that does not harm the environment. This event was an important movement in mitigating environmental crises such as climate change, pollution, and ocean acidification, bringing us one step closer to our goal of a sustainable future.

Written by Angelina Hwang

Car Committee Lesson Plan

As of late, the car committee's top priority has been to complete its lesson plan. Developments in the interactive portion of this project have increased drastically in the past few days. We have undertaken the construction of three educational display boards that each break down the implications, cycles, and benefits of contemporary fuel and electric vehicles. The first board informs students of the process of ocean acidification by means of illustration explaining carbon dioxide's cycles in the natural environment and it's impacts on marine and human life. The second board will focus on informing the students of different types of renewable energy, also by means of illustration. And lastly, the third board's progress has been greatly expedited by the arrival of our new 3mm LED's. Each one is as bright as a small flashlight and will serve as a representation of carbon dioxide wafting from the tailpipe of a conventional gas car. When the students place small electric components into the car on the board via cardboard cut outs and velcro, the carbon dioxide will cease its ascent and the LED's will turn off, respectively.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beach Clean Up

On January 12th, Team Marine, with help from Heal the Bay, organized and hosted a beach cleanup and invited all of SAMOHI's Marine Biology students as well as other members of the community. We collected trash all along the shore and especially around the mouth of the storm drain. With the trash we picked up we created an image of the Santa Monica Pier using items like cigarette butts, bottle caps, straws, styrofoam pieces, and other plastics. With the rest of the trash we created a sign of our motto ‘Rethink’. People walking along the boardwalk stopped to talk to us about what Team Marine does to help the environment such as informing people with our art about how the buildup of trash in the ocean affects animals, their ecosystems and ultimately us. Photographer Fabian Lewkowicz took some pictures of us creating our Santa Monica Pier inspired artwork and posted them on the Santa Monica Close-up’s Facebook, furthering our audiences. A big thank you to him and everyone who participated!

Written by Edie Cote

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Defense of Humanity

In the past week, there has been a heated call and response between Marc Gunther and Stiv Wilson over a topic very close to Team Marine, plastic and plastic pollution in the environment. The plastic industry has always fought against environmentalists and their goal to ban plastic bags. Gunther continued the fight by representing the large plastic companies in his article. He supported the companies, like Hilex Poly, denouncing the claim that plastic bags are more harmful than paper bags, and even supported the use of the plastic bag. Furthermore, he made incorrect scientific claims, citing research that falsely said reusable bags contain harmful amounts of E-coli bacteria. He continually oversimplified the arguments of environmentalists, trying to make them seem close-minded and ignorant.

Wilson, an activist and blogger for the 5 Gyres Institute, wrote his rebuttal that set Gunther's skewed views back on track. Stiv made a bold statement that encompasses the views of Team Marine, Heal the Bay and other environmental organizations. The institutions of plastic bag bans are not caused by the non-recyclable nature of plastic. There is no debate on whether plastic is recyclable, it's the fact that it is not being recycled. It forces people to take personal responsibility and alter their action. He acknowledges that the bans do not solve the problem. They help to make a difference now that will hopefully promote more change in the future.

This is only one point of many, though. Stiv's argument is easily accessible. He dispels many of the myths that Gunther presented as general eco-knowledge. The ban of the plastic bag and use of sustainable resources does not need to be sugar coated. It is common sense. If anyone has even a shadow of a doubt about the eco-movement against the plastic companies, it is imperative that he or she reads Stiv's article.

"We might not have the money on our side, but we have something that always wins in the end: the truth."

Read Gunther's article here:

Read Stiv's rebuttal here:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Support the LA City Bag Ban!!

This Wednesday, at Los Angeles City Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., city representatives are having a hearing to determine if the single-use carry out plastic bag should be banned throughout all of the City of Los Angeles. This a monumental occasion for the city and we need bodies there to rally support for the cause. If you truly are sustainable and have the time to make it, come down to city hall and promote positive change in your city!

ALSO: Come hear Team Marine Member Annie Wiesenfeld SPEAK at this event! She needs your support to truly be heard.

Here is the info about the event:

What: City of Los Angeles single-use carryout bag ban
When: Wednesday, December 14 at 9:30am
Where: Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber Room 340,
200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
***Wear GREEN to show your support for the environment and holiday spirit***

Check the Heal the Bay Website to make sure everything is up and running for Wednesday the night before

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Want to know about the future of Climate Change?

As the effects of the Kyoto Protocol expired this year, new UN climate debates, The Durban Talks, are being held to determine the new course of action. This debate has been going on for years and plays a large role in the fate of the environment as many know it. Many nation's representatives are pushing for a much more strict environmental policy, a path closer to that of the original intentions of the Kyoto Protocol. Ideally, it would establish strict emission plans for nations which are becoming industrialized, and would also use new "legal instruments" to regulate the carbon emissions of already industrialized nations. These are all just ideas though, the debates are still underway. You can read more about the talks here:

Make sure to keep up on all the latest climate news and the Durban Talks

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sara Bayles' Photography Exhibit

On Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Team Marine visited Sara Bayles' Photography exhibit. She collects trash from the same beach (tower 26) for 20 minutes at a time with a goal of 365 non-consecutive days of trash collection. So far, she has collected for 238 days and has gathered 903.9 pounds of trash. After each clean up, she blogs about it on her blog, The Daily Ocean. Team Marine got to see many of the pictures from her clean ups and we got to learn a lot more about her project. This was a very informative event and not only did it show us what an ECO-BEAST Sara is, but it put in perspective how much trash there really is. If one person can collect this much for only 20 minutes at a time, at the same spot, then imagine what can happen if every one person chose a different tower and did the same. Sara is doing a great thing and Team Marine loves it. Check out her blog! :

Posted By: Alexis Saez