Monday, September 12, 2011

Washed Ashore

Here's Jeff checking out Henry -
Henry was washed ashore in the form of millions of pieces of plastic

After a busy summer, Jeff and I meandered off the Mendocino Coast to check out The Washed Ashore exhibit at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

It is AMAZING - 15 creations made from trash that washed up onto Oregon beaches. The creations are clever and the displays are educational and thought-provoking (like this one)

Many know that sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jelly fish, but they are only one of many species that are significantly impacted. I was astounded by this whale of a tale -

It is disturbing when you think about how much plastics have become a necessity in our lives. Jeff and I were trying to think how we could live without plastics. It doesn't seem possible, but we can "Rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, reinvent, and refuse" to minimize our use and impact.

We also can become involved in activities like California Coastal Cleanup Day and support groups that are working to create awareness like The Surfrider Foundation. Seeing their photo of the internal contents of a bird's stomach has made me obsessive that every little shred of plastic that comes from a wrapper gets into the trash. Be sure to check out their Rise Above Plastics program.

I also have become increasing aware of my impact as a kayaker. Seal launches and landings with plastic kayaks often leaves bits of plastic on the rocks.

While seal launches and landings are fun, we use them only when necessary in favor of lower impact on the environment. Jumping off of rocks into the ocean and swimming to your kayak is good fun too.

Be sure to check out the facebook page - Out of Sight, Out of Mind . Here's a group of 3 paddlers working to create awareness of the trash issues in our waterways and what we can do to help. For many of us, every day is Coastal Cleanup Day as we pick up trash on our streets, in the forest, and on the water.

If you get a chance, definitely check out the Washed Ashore Exhibit and share it with others. Every Action Counts . . .


  1. Cate: I'm glad you are bringing up the subject of plastic in the ocean. Just think, if we'd all reduce and recycle our plastic, things would be better.