I never planned to get this involved in taking care of the ocean , whales ,dolphins , orca’s , seals , sharks , and the great outdoors. My mind set has been the same since I was a child , if it interest me I learn everything there is to learn on a subject.
The only difference is now I’m 52 and know how to solve complicated problems at a different level.
Two specific things happened that set me on a course to start figuring out how to create a solutions/campaigns to change the issue we have with plastics/trash entering the Monterey bay National Marine Sanctuary .
1. September 2014 I paddled out from Stillwater Cove in Pebble Beach California on a 14ft. stand up paddle board to watch over 20 humpback whales that had corned a massive group of bait fish . I had 2 GoPro cameras on me and my board . As I stood on my board on a huge kelp bed , 25ft feet away the water exploded and a humpback spy hopped and blew out . 2 divers from point lobos state reserve had motored over and actually got photos . Crazy impactful 2.5 hours in the ocean. I have been on safaris in South Africa and seen many large animals in there natural setting and it all changes you on being more connected to protect these majestic creatures.
2. February 2015 I volunteered to be at the surfrider foundation tent for the Annual whalefest . Two of the local members Alison Goss and Serge Richard explained to me what was happening with plastics / micro plastics /ocean Gyres of plastics trash and the adverse impact it has on marine mammals and the entire ocean eco-system.
I asked them if the surfrider chapter would be interested in doing a stand up paddle clean up of plastics and trash in the kelps beds off Point Lobos State Reserve. I have a small paddle board company and could safely accomdate 5 members . Point Lobos State Reserve/ CA State parks provided the permit and we did it in August 2015.
Since then I have collaboratively worked with a truly diversified cross section of groups, non-profits , state agencies , government organizations , marine biologist , fish and game , local businesses , congressman , city officials , harbor masters , outdoor industry companies ,and local waterman and women that reside in our extended community surrounding the Monterey Bay.
This is my list in no particular order of all the the above that I have reached out to in the past 2.5 years to get educated. All have helped me in understanding this very complicated issue of how plastics have infected the ocean and how to start the action steps. Key sites locations are also listed.
The Sea Shepherd conservation society – California State Parks Jim Bilz Superintendent & Daniel Williford – Save Our Shores – Ke Kai O’Uhane Outrigger Canoe Club – Point Lobos State Reserve – The Monterey Aqaurium – The Surfrider Foundation Monterey Chapter – Dr. Wallace J. Nichols – Blue Mind – Peggy Stap Marine Life Studies – CaliPaddler – The Marine Mammal Center – Clarke Mclennan CA Fish & Game – Advisory Council Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – Jeff Kirshner Litterati – The Carmel River Water Conservancy – The Wahine Project – Save the Waves – Carmel River Steelhead Assoc. – The Monterey Harbor Masters office – The City of Marina Cemex Sand Mind – San Clemente Dam removal project – The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – US National Park Service – Moss Landing Marine Labs – Congressman Jimmy Panetta – Blue waters Kayaking Tomales bay – Kayak Connection Moss Landing – Monterey Bay Whale Watch – The Whale Museum Friday Harbor San Juan Island Washington – Crystal Seas Kayaking San Juan Island – Bob Johnson * son of Cap. Johnson The 1st Harbormaster of Stillwater Cove Pebble beach – Mike Weber free diver *Alex Weber free diver * Jack Johnston free diver The Plastic Pick up – Gary Emich Open water swimming legend San Francisco bay – Phil DiGirolamo Teacher Monterey Area historian -Les “Doc” Waddel waterman – Frosty Hesson waterman – Morgan Hoesterey – Chris Aguilar – Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge – Ano Nuevo State Park – Piedras blancas elephant seal rookery – Point Sur Lighthouse CA State Parks – Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove – Clif Bar – All Good Skin Care Morro Bay – Rainbow Fin Company – Patagonia – Kialoa Paddles – Prana – Mizu Stainless Steal bottles – Kuhl Outdoor Apparel – GoPro – Rainbow Sandals – Monterey Signs – ACME coffee – Cal-trans – countless people that spend allot of time in the ocean.
We have traveled to other ocean environments in the United States and abroad including since 2002: South Africa – New Zealand – Australia – Costa Rica – Big Island of Hawaii – Moloka’i – Maui- Oahu – Kaua’i – San Juan Island Washington – France .
I have studied scores of documentaries & read a good amount of books on all topics that relate to local history , marine mammals , watersheds , dams , environmental science , and the list goes on .
Most importantly 15 years in the waters of the Monterey Bay and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary .
There is no doubt these will be community based solutions to create the actual campaign to engage the millions of visitors that come through this area on why it is so important to not litter. The area I am currently engaging to build the template is Point Lobos State Reserve , Carmel River State Beach , The City of Carmel , and Pebble Beach .
When you see a bunch of trash on a beach its easy to understand , but when it gets into the ocean people don’t see the cumulative of many years of plastics that have broken into micro plastics and will become ingested by marine life . There is ZERO spin on the sky is falling in whatI have concluded , it is absolutely true .
I am personally committed to getting this changed , but it will take all parts of the community to make it happen .
Be the difference – BAO