Posts tagged "blog"

Transitioning to an Environmentally Friendly Diet

June 16th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Transitioning to an Environmentally Friendly Diet”

By Ely Khatib

My name is Ely and I have been vegan for a little over a year now. I didn’t do it for my health or to get more fit, although that is a good added benefit to the lifestyle. I changed my diet for two reasons: for the animals and for the environment.

Animals are excessively abused by farmers and are not taken care of, nor killed, in a humane way. Many are crammed into small places, fed corn meal, and beaten with a blunt object to kill them. Animal products also use the most water and land, and produce more greenhouse gases than any plant-based foods, fruits and vegetables.

It’s not necessary for everyone to go fully vegan to help curb animal abuse and improve the environment. I am not going to try to make you stop eating meat entirely. What really matters is that each person minimizes their intake, so that the agricultural industry isn’t so overwhelmed by consumers. This will help prevent the industry from cramming animals in tight spaces and using excess resources that lead to environmental consequences.

So, what does this mean for your diet? This could be as simple as reducing your meat and dairy consumption from three times a day to once a day, or from every day to three times a week.

I know people who only eat animal products when they go out to eat, but never when they cook at home. Or people who only eat animal products on the weekends. Even eating solely chicken and turkey instead of red meat – which uses the most land, energy, water, and produces the most greenhouse gases – is better than no change at all.

Regardless of which changes you adopt; the whole idea is to do what you can to minimize your impact on the environment and reduce the need for the animal agriculture industry to abuse animals.

People may think being vegan is hard, but when you practice it, it’s actually super easy, especially when you eat at home. Most people avoid veganism for a multitude of reasons, such as fear of hormone changes (estrogen), malnourishment, or just because meat tastes so good.

The truth is that hormone imbalances do not come from consuming soy milk instead of real milk, or from avoiding meat. Your body does not produce more testosterone because you eat meat, nor does it produce more estrogen because you don’t.

Avoiding malnourishment just takes care and attention. For example, because I do not eat red meat I lack iron and vitamin B-12. To combat this, I take supplements, eat a lot of spinach, eat certain cereals, and drink lots of non-dairy milk.

Another argument is that vegans do not get enough protein, but I can assure you that I eat more than enough nuts, vegan protein powders, enough protein bars, and drink enough soy milk to meet my needs as an athlete.

Furthermore, there are also many new plant-based “meats” that serve as my supplement for meat when I make tacos, pastas, burgers, and burritos at home. They are even vegan corn dogs and “chicken” nuggets at the store – for when I want a late-night snack.

Finally, when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle (or a vegetarian / low-meat one), it can be very hard to make the jump cold turkey. One technique is to slowly reduce your intake over the course of six months. Start by eating meat three days instead of five, then go down to once after three weeks, then to none after another three weeks.

Try the techniques above, such as only eating meat when you go out with friends or only on weekends. Whatever you can do makes a difference, and if you do it right, the transition can be easy and comfortable.

Modifying your diet will help the environment in the long run, and it’s only one of the many ways to get involved in protecting our precious water and natural resources.

An added bonus is that you may become the best cook of your friend group and everyone will be impressed with how healthy you are. Good luck!

Click here to learn how you can get involved in protecting the State of Your Water.

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How I Helped the Forest Service Develop a Water Monitoring Program

June 8th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “How I Helped the Forest Service Develop a Water Monitoring Program”

By Rachel

While working as an intern at Orange County Coastkeeper, I had the opportunity to assist the Forest Service in the development of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for a water quality monitoring program in the Cleveland National Forest. A QAPP is a document that outlines the procedures for a monitoring project in order to ensure the data it collects and analyzes will meet the project requirements.

The QAPP I helped develop describes the procedures for collecting samples of indicator bacteria (E. Coli and Enterococcus) at three different field sites within the Cleveland National Forest.

In order to choose which sites and contaminants to monitor, some other interns and I researched which impaired bodies of water in the region also fell within the boundaries of the Cleveland National Forest by examining the map on the 303(d) list from the State Water Resources Control Board website.

Under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d), states are required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to submit a list of waters within its boundaries not meeting water quality standards (impaired waters) as well as the water quality parameter (i.e., pollutant) not being met. This list is referred to as the 303(d) list.

After compiling a list of impaired bodies of water within Cleveland National Forest, we then looked into which specific contaminants were listed and where these samples were collected.

Using the latitude and longitude data of these monitoring sites from the State Water Resources Control Board site, we were then able to confirm whether these specific samples were collected within the forest boundaries and identified three potential bodies of water to monitor for indicator bacteria: Trabuco Creek, Silverado Creek, and San Juan Creek.

The next step was to collect water samples from each site and send them to the lab to be analyzed for levels of E. Coli and Enterococcus.

I was able to conduct sampling at one of the sites (Silverado Creek) with another Coastkeeper intern. The procedure was very similar to the sampling procedures for stormwater monitoring. Because there was a good amount of water flowing in the creek, we were able to use the sampling bottles to collect water samples directly from the creek.

After collecting our samples and filling out the field data sheets for each one, we then dropped off our samples back at the Coastkeeper office so they could be taken to the lab later that day to be analyzed for indicator bacteria levels along with the samples from the other sites.

Below is a photo of my fellow intern from when we went sampling at Silverado Creek!

Click here to learn how you can get involved in protecting the State of Your Water.

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The post How I Helped the Forest Service Develop a Water Monitoring Program appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

What I Learned About Stormwater Monitoring

June 7th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “What I Learned About Stormwater Monitoring”

By Rachel

During my internship with Orange County Coastkeeper, I had the opportunity to learn about stormwater monitoring in order to monitor water quality in public areas adjacent to industrial sites throughout Orange County. My group and I collected samples in order to help Coastkeeper in its efforts to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act (CWA) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements following rainfall events.

The stormwater monitoring training included going over sampling procedures, how to fill out field data sheets for each site, what to look for at field sites, and how to use any equipment such as a sampling pole, Whirl-Pak bags, and sampling bottles.

During my stormwater monitoring experience, we collected samples for indicator bacteria and sevral types of metals at multiple industrial sites in Orange County, including an asphalt plant, a powder core manufacturing facility, and an aerospace manufacturing facility.

Industrial sites are areas that are designated specifically for industrial use (such as manufacturing facilities, factories, and warehouses), which are often a large source of contamination to the air and water in our communities.

Pollutants from industrial sites impact water resources through runoff, which is water that is not absorbed by the ground and instead flows freely while picking up pollutants from roads, roofs, and other surfaces. Industrial runoff originates directly from industrial sites and commonly includes substances such as oil, grease, hazardous chemicals, and sediment such as dirt, gravel, or cement.

Runoff from rainfall events enters storm drains and ultimately ends up in Orange County’s oceans, rivers, and creeks. Since this water is not treated before this happens, it can contaminate water resources, negatively impact water ecosystems, and result in beach closures due to elevated levels of chemicals or bacteria. Because of this, industrial sites require monitoring and must adhere to environmental regulations in order to reduce negative environmental impacts.

When choosing sites to conduct water quality monitoring, it is important to consider several factors. First, there should be safe and unrestricted access at the site. The water sample should also be representative of the water body of interest. It is also important to select sites that have a history of water pollution or contamination. Often, the sites that Coastkeeper monitors are chosen either because they have previously self-submitted data showing pollution and environmental regulatory agencies have taken no action, or because of a direct site observation or tip from someone.

After all water samples are collected and field data sheets are filled out, they are dropped off at Coastkeeper’s office where they are then taken to the lab to be analyzed. The samples and resulting water quality data can be used for litigation, which can lead to more scrutiny of industrial sites or even enforcement actions to ensure compliance with industrial permits.

Stormwater monitoring is essential in ensuring drinkable, fishable, and swimmable water in our community. Check out how Coastkeeper helps prevent stormwater pollution and learn about getting involved in protecting the State of Your Water.

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The State of Your Water is in our hands. Support us today so that we may continue to advocate for
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Skip the Plastic Straw’s Story & Campaign

June 5th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Skip the Plastic Straw’s Story & Campaign”

Hi! My name is Chloe Mei Espinosa. I am 14 years old and the founder of Skip the Plastic Straw. I started my campaign when I was 11 years old for a sixth-grade school project, called the Passion Project, where I was able to research anything I was passionate about.

As a scuba diver, I love the ocean and marine mammals. I was very heartbroken after watching the video of a plastic straw stuck in a turtle’s nose. It was a wake-up call to me and I knew I had to take action to protect these innocent marine animals from plastic pollution.

For my Passion Project, I chose to research and campaign against the use of single-use plastic straws. I created my website,, and Instagram page, @skiptheplasticstraw, to educate people on the harmful effects of single-use plastic straws.

Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day, which could fill more than 46,400 large school buses. That’s a lot of straws! Unlike other plastics, plastic straws are not recyclable or biodegradable – you use a plastic straw for a few minutes but it outlives you and stays on the planet for hundreds of years. Plastic straws only break down into microscopic pieces and marine animals mistake them as food, causing them to injure, suffocate or die. If this doesn’t change, plastic will continue to end up in the ocean and affect marine life indefinitely. We all need to do our part to reduce our consumption of single-use plastic – and plastic straws are a good start!

Since my campaign launched in April 2018, I have convinced PALI Outdoor Science Institute in the San Bernardino Mountains, three school districts (128 schools in total), and two hospitals in Orange County to join my campaign to remove all plastic straws from their cafeterias.

I created posters to display at all 128 schools to inform students and teachers of the new change and to hopefully inspire them to skip the plastic straw even outside of school. I also started a lecture series to youth groups and adults and have presented to thousands of people on the harmful effects of single-use plastic straws.

I received the Captain Planet Foundation’s Young Superhero for Earth Award in 2018, Top 100 Influencers in 2018 in Orange County by The Orange County Register, the Junior Philanthropist Award in 2019 from Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, and Ocean Hero Award in 2019 from OCEANA in recognition of my work.

Last November, I was invited as a guest to share my campaign on The Kelly Clarkson Show and, just recently, I was honored to be selected as a Finalist for the TIME Magazine/Nickelodeon first-ever Kid of the Year 2020.

In 2019, I was given amazing opportunities to work on other environmental projects. I was also selected to be on the Delta Green Up Youth Advisory Board, working with other youth to help make Delta Air Lines a more sustainable airline. And I was selected as a judge for the Redford Center Stories Film Competition, encouraging middle school children to get creative and produce short films on ways they can help beat plastic pollution.

Since I haven’t been able to do in-person presentations due to the pandemic, my sister (Ella Lin) and I decided to find other ways of reaching out to people, including launching a new YouTube Channel called the Sustainable Sisters! Our channel is all about reviewing eco-friendly products and brands, and sharing ways we can all help to protect our environment!

We also organized our first-ever Skip the Plastic Straw Global Cleanup Challenge with Litterati in the month of September with a goal to collect at least 10,000 pieces of trash. In just one month, we exceeded our goal and picked up – and documented – a total of 11,361 pieces of trash! We had a total of 76 amazing participants from all over the world – including the USA, Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, Philippines, Pakistan, Africa, and even Singapore – who joined our global virtual cleanup challenge. For more details on my work during COVID-19, read my website blog:

Through this campaign, I’ve learned that it’s possible for one person – adult or kid – to make a difference for our environment. All it takes is someone who cares passionately enough to start their journey to low-waste living or even to begin a campaign.

Single-use plastic straws are a problem, but they’re only the tip of the single-use plastic problem. If you can start by joining me to skip that plastic straw and switch to alternative straws – like a glass, bamboo or a metal straws – or no straw at all, you will already be making a huge difference!

You can also help by printing or emailing my campaign restaurant flyer to your favorite restaurant and ask them to consider switching to a biodegradable option.

-Chloe Mei

“Skip the plastic straw. Save our oceans.”

The post Skip the Plastic Straw’s Story & Campaign appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

Dishing Out Water Conservation Tips – How to Save Water in Your Kitchen

June 4th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Dishing Out Water Conservation Tips – How to Save Water in Your Kitchen”

By Kathryn

Our first line of defense when it comes to water conservation can start in your own home!

Finding ways to save water and be more sustainable can have a big impact locally and for the planet. Although it may be an adjustment at first, a lot of the following recommendations may also save you money.

As the ongoing drought leaves us wary of summer and what is to come, there are also concerns about increasing water bills, which can have a huge impact on many families in Orange County. Ultimately, we want to save the planet and your wallet.


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Here are some tips and tricks you can use to save water and practice sustainability while doing your dishes in the kitchen, in recognition of National No Dirty Dishes Day:

water-conservation-2When you are waiting for the water to get warm, have buckets or containers close by to collect the water. You can use this water to water your plants or top off your pet’s water bowl!
When trying to clean off those hard-to-wash stains, instead of running the water while trying to scrub, leave these dishes in the sink to soak for a bit.
One of the best ways that I have tried to get the glue off from a glass jar, if you are trying to reuse it, is to use a little olive oil and baking soda on it. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then scrub it off.
Try to lower the water pressure or turn of the water when you are scrubbing your dishes before rinsing them. This is something you can also do when you are washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or shampooing your hair.
You can also look at water-saving, higher-pressure sink nozzles to replace your old ones.
If you want to cut back on plastic waste, you can reuse a bottle (I like using my glass amber bottles with a pump) by refilling it with soap whenever you run out. My favorite refillable bull store is Eco Now (located in Costa Mesa and Anaheim) and they have many sustainable, non-toxic options for your entire home.
You can also opt for non-plastic cleaning scrubbers made from bamboo, for example, which when you are done with them can be composted or can be replaced with a new head.
Being conscious of what you pour down your sink is also very important. Using baking soda and vinegar to clean the inside of your sink when you are done with all your dishes is one way to avoid putting toxic solutions down your drain.

If you are able to integrate any of these tricks into your routine, you’ll be helping the planet and maybe even having fun doing the dishes (if that is even possible)!

Tag @occoastkeeper on Instagram with #NationalNoDirtyDishesDay to show us how you plan to prioritize sustainability in your kitchen. And check out the ways you can get involved in protecting the State of Your Water.

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The post Dishing Out Water Conservation Tips – How to Save Water in Your Kitchen appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

Tips to Conserve Water in the Summer Months

May 22nd, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Tips to Conserve Water in the Summer Months”

By Johanna

As Californians, we look forward to the sunny months of summer and all the exciting activities that follow along. But with the fun comes the unwavering heat.

With summer temperatures often reaching the triple digits, our delicate water sources inevitably experience even higher demand than they do during cooler times of the year. This effect is exacerbated when the region gets fickle rain showers.

California is currently facing its second major drought within a decade. It is important for the state’s residents to come together to help tackle the current drought emergency and try to be more effective with our water usage.

Here are some simple ways everyone can try around their home to help with water conservation amid drought conditions:


Conserve Water When Watering Your Lawn and Garden


Make sure to water your lawn and garden only when needed, not daily. When watering lawns, it is better to do deep soaks during cooler parts of the day.


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Turn Off the Water When it is Not Needed


Easy ways to save water around the house include turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, not leaving the hose running when washing your car, and even being more aware of how long the faucet is on while manually washing dishes.

Be Efficient with Washing Machines


Using your washing machines and dishwashers with full loads saves water and can also help you save on your energy bills.

Take Shorter Showers


Try using a timer to make sure showers are short and efficient. Switching to low-flow showerheads helps save water and can help save money.


The State of Your Water is in danger. Support us today so that we may continue to advocate for water conservation and for the sustainability of our oceans.

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Reduce Food Waste


Food production is a huge source of water usage and shopping smart and reducing food waste is a subtle way to contribute to efficient water usage.


Plant California-friendly Plants and Trees in Your Garden


Replace thirsty vegetation with native plants that are more drought-resistant and can live off the low levels of rainfall.


Fix Any Leaks in Your Home


Water leaks in your home can waste thousands of gallons of water a year, hurting the region’s water supplies and the consumer’s wallet.

Learn more here about how water conservation aligns with our advocacy for clean water and sustainability!

The post Tips to Conserve Water in the Summer Months appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

What I Learned During my Time as an Education Intern at Coastkeeper

May 8th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “What I Learned During my Time as an Education Intern at Coastkeeper”

By Audrey


When I started working as Coastkeeper’s environmental education intern in January, I had just begun volunteering at the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch program for my local MPAs in Los Angeles County.

Since December of 2020, I’ve been recording data about how humans are using the MPAs in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, which has given me the opportunity to explore and learn more about the wonders of Southern California’s coast. My time volunteering and interning helped me develop an immense love for MPAs.

Because I completed my internship entirely from my desk at home in the Los Angeles area, my access to the Orange County community and coastline was limited. Nevertheless, I still feel like I got to know OC much better by participating in virtual presentations and emergency beach cleanups, as well as by drafting social media posts for the education department.

I promoted the department’s work to help the community learn a little more about its connection to water. I am proud of all the work I produced during my internship, but the MPA social media series I created was truly a labor of love.

Learning about the MPAs


I learned that there are seven MPAs in OC and immediately wanted to create a social media post for each one. My goal for this was to help the community learn about the local MPAs (and I wanted to learn about them, too) and give people an idea of how they can enjoy them.

The designations for MPAs are all different, and I can tell you from my research that it’s not the easiest information to access or understand. So, I explored all seven MPAs through my laptop screen and from my desk. I learned the names of cities the MPAs are located in, the landmarks that are around it, their designation and what it means for each MPA, how people can recreate there, and how to keep these habitats safe when visiting – which I got to share with the OC community.

Doing this research and creating these posts have only increased my love of MPAs, and I hope they can do something similar for the people who see them on social media. I even got inspired to visit Crystal Cove for the first time – a visit I got to capture in photos.

Now I have so many places I want to visit when I have the time and it’s safer to travel!

Being able to visit my local beaches and the ocean is such a fantastic privilege that I have and I am so grateful for it. Even though the California coast belongs to all of us by law, it really is a scarce resource, and not everyone is able to access the coast.

I hope my love for MPAs encourages you to visit these wonderful places in Orange County and helps you learn about them. And if you’re not able to get to the coast, I hope it gives you a glimpse of the magic of your marine protected areas.

The post What I Learned During my Time as an Education Intern at Coastkeeper appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

What I Learned During my Time as an Intern at Coastkeeper

February 20th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “What I Learned During my Time as an Intern at Coastkeeper”

By Hannah Del Barto


When I first landed my internship for the restoration program at Coastkeeper, my intention was to get lots of hands-on experience – helping at the Coastkeeper garden, building oyster beds, and doing beach clean ups.

Unfortunately, most of my internship was done remotely due to COVID-19. Instead, I spent most of my time attending meetings, watching live streams and webinars, and doing research. I still learned a lot as I:

Assisted with researching potential grant opportunities and oyster shell recycling legislation around the United States to further expand Coastkeeper’s oyster restoration projects
Researched ocean acidification
Created a flyer and edited a blog for our living shorelines project
Attended a virtual MPA Watch training
Researched laws and bills regarding beachfront property issues in Newport Beach

Learning to Fight Poseidon

Coastkeeper has been fighting against Poseidon’s Huntington Beach desalination plant proposal for years and the team taught me that the plant would have detrimental effects on our climate, economy and oceans. 

I’ve learned that our current water recycling system in Orange County produces twice as much water as Poseidon’s proposed plant for a fraction of the cost. Not only would the plant produce less water, but it would make water very expensive for consumers and would be the most energy intensive way to produce fresh water. The most damaging effect is that the pipes for the plant would suck up tons of marine life that play an important role in the ecosystem. 

Listening to the countless community members speak up about their opposing views towards the desalination plant really moved me. The fact that all of these people took time out of their day to speak out against something that they passionately believe is wrong, in hopes to make change, is quite inspiring. 

My take-away from this is that there is a great power in the voice of people who come together. I now understand that I have a say in the environmental decisions that my city makes. 

Learning in the Field

Although I was a little bummed that I couldn’t do all the hands-on work that I initially expected to be a part of the majority of my internship, I was able to get in-person field work approved just in time to participate in Coastkeeper’s annual eelgrass surveys! 

During this time, I worked as a boat hand – assisting with cleaning supplies, handing the divers their gear when they were in the water, collecting bags of eelgrass into buckets, taking photos, and looking out for incoming boats, kayakers, paddleboarders, etc. – all while the divers were under water. 

Reading a report on the results of a scientific experiment is one thing, but actually watching the data being taken and helping the scientists with whatever they needed was a super cool experience. Now I can say that I understand how a marine restoration project goes down! 

A Lifelong Inspiration for Conservation

The main highlight of my internship has been learning about the roles that oysters and eelgrass play in the ecosystem, our water quality, and shoreline stability. It is a subject that I have never really considered and did not have any prior knowledge about.

I have discovered a secret passion for restoration, conservation, and volunteer work thanks to Coastkeeper.

Although this internship was for marine restoration and my field of study is public health, I have learned that the two subjects are directly related. After exploring how the conditions of our environment affects the health of humans, I realized that I want to go back to school to pursue a Masters of Environmental Health at San Diego State University. 

This internship prepared me for a better career in the future because it opened up my eyes to so many possibilities and opportunities to better the environment, which has always been a priority and life-long goal of mine.

The post What I Learned During my Time as an Intern at Coastkeeper appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

The Most Trash our Education Coordinator has ever seen…

February 9th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “The Most Trash our Education Coordinator has ever seen…”

By Cristina Robinson

As the Education Coordinator at OC Coastkeeper, I have learned so much about how to be a better steward of my local watershed and environment, and love practicing what we preach to our students.

Before COVID, our education staff (myself & Dyana Peña) would be busy throughout the school year taking students on field trips to wonderful habitats and places throughout our various watersheds in Orange County. As much as I enjoyed our field trips, I couldn’t help but notice all the litter at every location.

I’m also a Tidepool Educator for Laguna Ocean Foundation and am constantly seeing trash in and around our tidepools that are in designated Marine Protected Areas. Though I didn’t want to be more active on social media, I decided to use my platform to educate others regarding plastic pollution, plastic alternatives, and zero waste options.

In the fall of 2019, I created the website to showcase all these resources, as well as an Instagram account to educate my followers on a more frequent basis.

In mid-October of 2020, my fellow litter-picking California State University, Long Beach marine biology alumni buddy, Janine Rodriguez, and I teamed up to start a trash project where we created stickers encouraging people to protect our planet from pollution and to include friends and family in cleanups.

We sell each sticker for $1 and pick up one pound of trash for every sticker sold, and then post a dedicated cleanup to the buyer on our respective social media accounts. Thus far, we have 903 pounds of trash to remove and have already removed 465 pounds! Learn how to order our stickers by checking out my Instagram or Janine’s @_trashygurl account.

Since we launched this project, I’ve been trying to do cleanups every weekend or so to chip away at our 903 pounds we have committed to remove with the support we received.

A Trashy Adventure at the Santa Ana River Mouth

During the last weekend of January, I had planned my weekly cleanup to be at the beach since I knew we would have intensified trash along our coast from the big rainstorm we had a couple of days prior. However, I was not expecting to witness or remove the amount of trash I found on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2021.

On Saturday, Jan. 30, my friend Brittney, her two children, and her sister joined me for a beach cleanup as they had been the last few weekends. I had them meet me in the neighborhood across the street from the Frog House (for free parking), as I knew there would be a lot of trash to be found since we were at the end of the Santa Ana River Mouth (SARM).

This is where the Santa Ana River Watershed drains. It is this the largest watershed in Orange County and it travels across San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange County.

We walked over to the Newport City side of the beach and picked up almost 50 pounds of trash within 30 minutes, just from what was around the jetties. While we were picking up trash in the rocks, we saw across from us what looked like a trash island and were horrified!

We then quickly weighed our first trash haul, emptied our bucket and bags of trash by compiling everything into a convenient tub we found, left this at my car, then walked over the Pacific Coast Highway bridge where we discovered a trash goldmine. The trash island was more of a trash peninsula, and quite frankly brought me to tears.

I have never seen so much trash congregated in one area before – ever. There were huge furniture items, shoes galore, so many facemasks, tons of food and beverage containers, toys, endless pieces of Styrofoam and plastic, and so much more. I posted videos on my social media story asking for help to join me in removing more the next day.


We refilled our bucket and bags as much as we could and made a pile of shoes we hoped to return to the next day. With no trash cans to be seen in near sight and my car on the other side of the river mouth, we luckily found a nearby abandoned shopping cart to push all the trash back to my car. After weighing all the trash hauls from Saturday, we were amazed that the five of us had removed 127.65 pounds of trash!

On Jan. 31, I came back to the SARM, but this time I parked my car in the Huntington State Beach parking lot since it was closer to the trash peninsula. My call for help was heard and some wonderful friends joined me in removing even more trash.

After a quick surf session and grabbing a balloon and some plastic pieces on the way to my car, Brittney and her kids joined me again in picking up trash starting in the parking lot. Dyana and her boyfriend, Chris, then joined us and once all our bags and buckets were full, we consolidated the trash and left it at my car to weigh later.

We then made our way to the trash peninsula where my friends Kaysha and Kelsey had started cleaning up the debris. They had been filling up their buckets, walking them to the nearest trash can (which wasn’t that near), and returning to do it all over again.

On this day, we tackled some huge heavy items (including the shoe pile from Saturday). Thanks to Dyana’s quick thinking, we got maintenance to help haul the heavy trash items.


Dyana’s sister and parents had also removed 30 pounds of trash to help us on the Talbert channel side of Huntington State Beach. Kaysha and Kelsey kept track of their weight of trash removed for the day, so that night we compiled our data (I had to triple check mine because I was in disbelief), but altogether we removed 397.69 pounds of trash! My personal weight of trash picked up for the entire weekend was 377.47 pounds.

I am simultaneously so proud of these efforts, but so sad that this much trash was there to begin with, and that still so much trash remains.

How You Can Help Keep our Coast Classy, not TrashyPlease use this as a call to action to help in preventing this trash from draining to our coast by not littering, reducing your plastic and Styrofoam use, and doing neighborhood cleanups whenever you can.

At OC Coastkeeper, we are currently providing ‘Cleanup Kits’ that include a trash bag with two sets of gloves per household (adult & children sizes) and have these available outside our office door every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. We would also like to distribute these cleanup kits throughout Orange County, so please let us know where they are needed.

We are organizing Emergency Cleanups in areas with extreme litter accumulation before and after rain events. If you are experienced in cleanups and interested in joining our Emergency Cleanup Volunteer List, please fill out our quick Google Form. Feel free to let us know of any areas that need an emergency cleanup near you!


My friends that joined Sunday’s cleanup also keep track of all the trash they remove for their own amazing cleanup efforts. You can check out Kaysha Kenney’s Instagram and Kelsey Nannini’s Instagram to follow along with their conservation efforts.

The post The Most Trash our Education Coordinator has ever seen… appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.


Safe Boating and Fishing Practices

January 13th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Safe Boating and Fishing Practices”

By Hayden Vega

Boating and fishing are some of the most popular highways that people experience their local waterways. Regrettably, hazardou dress like littering and dropping while on the irrigate can drastically slacken an ecosystem’s health. It is estimated that over 100 million marine swine will die this year due to pollution alone. Practicing safe boating and fishing dress can help mitigate the effects of pollution and help your waterways flourish for many years.

As a boater, one of the most common environmental impacts is chemical pollution. Common boat soaps and boat draws contain poisonous chemicals such as cuprous oxide, which is a known biocide. Cuprous oxide pollution can result in a deadly fog of chemicals that drifts through the liquid line, developing in die off of animals such as aquatic plants and native fish species. By scavenge your ship on shore and using products without cuprous oxide, you can help mitigate the loss of marine life and keep your waterway health. Too, another way to mitigate your chemical jolt is by getting your ship checked by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard offers free craft inspections and educational directions to make sure that your boat congregates the necessary safety and environmental standards within your position. This includes checking for any fuel or chemical openings that may be present. By adopting healthy boating practises, you can protect the health of your waterway for many years to come.

Along with boating, harmful net practices can negatively impact your waterways. As of 2018, there is an estimated 79, 000 metric tons of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, with 46% being consisting of representatives of jettisoned fishing nets alone. One of the prime criminals of fishing contamination is discarded fishing line. A good tip-off for your next fishing trip is to take a reusable bag and use it as your designated line crate while you are out. The most common fishing line pollution is small bits of tag line that are trimmed from fishing bows. It may not seem like a lot, but those small-scale slice can add up by the end of the day. In addition, a health habit is to recycle your unsolicited angling string. Countless bodies of water have fishing line recycling receptacles available for you. If none extended to you, you can still recycle by send your angling order to a nearby net wrinkle recycling seed. Last time alone, the Boat U.S. Foundation’s Reel In andRecycle Program collected fairly fishing orders from their recycling receptacles to stretch from Washington D.C. to San Diego, CA. By practicing healthful net dress, you can help minimize your contribution to global pollution.

It’s important to understand that what we do on the spray has impacts on not only the environment but likewise the people around us. By practicing safer boating and fishing habits, we can minimize our impacts on the environment and ensure the longevity of the national resources we enjoy.

The post Safe Boating and Fishing Practices appeared first on Orange County Coastkeeper.

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