Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the San Clemente Watershed Task Force, I'd like to wish all our Adopt-a-Beachers a Happy Holiday!

So, what did Santa bring us?

A Commendation by the San Clemente City Council!!!! Please join Sherry Johnson and I at the City Council meeting on January 5, 2010 to accept this wonderful award and share in the recognition of all your hard work for Adopt-a-Beach! The meeting is at 6pm at 100 Avenida Presidio.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Summer Cleanup Totals

The Summer (July and August) Beach Cleanup totals are in!


While items such as glass, plastic, and styrofoam are sometimes too numerous to count, it seems that you all, like me, loooove to count those cigarette butts! In July and August almost 9,000 butts were collected and counted. Adopt a Beach members Isabel Pelham and Brenda Miller has been saving the butts she picked up...take a look! All of these butts were picked up between Mariposa Point and Linda Lane along the beach, beach trail, and street. Thanks Brenda & Isabel!

Thanks to the following teams!:

Beach Master
Hodson Family
Joe Zoller Team
Miller/Wood Family
Jefferson Family
Our Savior Lutheran Church (one-time event)
Lemley Family
Lausens Boardrider Club
Citro Family
Chapman Family
SC Sunrise Rotary Club (shown on right)
Team Fun

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why is the Adopt-a-Beach program so important?

There are many reasons why the Adopt-a-Beach members clean up San Clemente beaches. The reasons range from the protection of marine animals to pollution education for their children to a sense of fulfillment by giving back to our community. Whatever your reason(s) are, it's also important to remember to motivate ourselves to keep up with the task at hand. I too have had a hard time motivating myself this summer; however, the heat of summer and the inundation of tourists to our San Clemente beaches only give us more reason to get out there and pick up the trash!

Personally, I find motivation in the effects of pollution on our environment, one of which is the huge patch of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, known as:

The "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"

Last month the Scripps Insitute of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, launched a three week investigation of the Garbage Patch. What they found was that it is roughly the size of Texas, and instead of being a solid island of plastic, it is composed of millions of tiny pieces of plastic that float just under the surface of the ocean! One nsource of the plastic is thought to be the west coast of the United States! To read more about the Garbage Patch and the Scripps Institute investigation, please click on the links below:




Sept. 18 Art Auction

SAVE THE DATE!!! The Sept. 18 Art Auction is our BIGGEST event of the year, and we expect all our teams to participate! Please check your email for your personal invite to this event!

Sept. 19 Coastal Cleanup Day

The perfect way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning in San Clemente! Please help out by either (1) cleaning up your section of San Clemente coastline or (2) come down to the pier and help the San Clemente Watershed Task Force by cleaning the beach, pier, or trail!

Monthly Reports: The monthly reports can now be found at: http://www.scwatersheds.com/reports.htm

Contact information update: I want to make sure that our members are getting the most up-to-date Adopt-a-Beach information! Please email me at colleenmcanfield@hotmail.com with your current phone number, email address, list of team members, and preferred beach section.

Personal Note: Please excuse my absence from the Sept. 3 party! I am currently on doctor ordered bed-rest, but I will be back in action as soon as possible! I am hoping I will be able to make it to the Art Auction!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer's Here!

Summer officially began last weekend, but at San Clemente beaches, it looked like Summer began with the Memorial Day weekend! The Adopt-a-Beach teams are off to a great start, with over 90 hours of logged cleanup time on the beaches in May. However, I'm sure you've noticed that there is an increase in the number of people and the amount of trash on the beach recently! We'll have a tough job for the next few months, but we'll all have a little fun at the same time.

May 2009 Monthly Report: http://members.cox.net/rockgirl14/2009_06_AaB%20Monthly%20Report.htm

Thanks to the following teams for cleaning up in May!
Joe Zoller Team
Miller/Wood Family
Jefferson Family

Canfield Family
SC Sunrise Rotary Club
Wicks Family
Lemly Family
Lausen's Boardrider Club
Seaview Pharmacy
Chapman Family
Beach Master
Eads & Others Team


Welcome to the new teams joining us this summer:

Hodson Family
Nonaca Family
Winkelmann Family (shown on right)

We now have many openings available for new teams, so if you know of anyone who may want to join us in adopting a beach, please have them contact me at colleenmcanfield@hotmail.com!

Coming up...

Summer time is full of exciting events in San Clemente!

July 4th - Independence Day: A big day for all of us, and the day after is one of the best times to get all the good trash ;) Have fun & please plan on hitting the beach post-4th of July!

July 18th & 19th - 2009 Ocean Festival: Come visit us at the festival!

September 3rd - Adopt-a-Beach Team Party: Our last party was a great success, so we've decided to have another one. On Sept. 3, please join us at the Community Center on Del Mar Avenue for another evening full of food, drinks, good times...and a bit of business.

September 18th - Art Auction: Mark your calendars for the biggest Adopt-a-Beach/San Clemente Watershed Task Force event of the year, the Annual Art Auction! This event keeps our program going, so invite your friends! As usual, it will be held at the Community Center on Del Mar Ave.

September 19th - California Coastal Cleanup Day: As if you needed an official day to cleanup! The Adopt-a-Beach program is sponsoring a special cleanup day in conjunction with this state-wide event to bring awareness to the San Clemente community. On this day, ask a friend to join you in a beach or neighborhood cleanup!

Summer Beach/Train Cleanups: There will be various scheduled community cleanups taking place this summer. As they come up, I will forward the details to you via email! Keep those bags and buckets close by!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Introducing Colleen Canfield!

GREAT news! The talent search is over – I have found my replacement.

Please join me in welcoming Colleen Canfield as the new Adopt a Beach Program Manager/Volunteer Coordinator.

After interviewing five applicants (three of them strong contenders) I determined that Colleen was the best choice for the position. She meets all of the requirements we were looking for – and more.

Colleen is a professional geologist with an MS in geology from SDSU. She is a new resident of San Clemente, recently moving here from San Diego. She is an active member of Surfrider and has participated in beach cleanup events. Of particular interest is her experience working with databases – a skill set which will be key in achieving our goal of automating the data tracking process. She is organized, energetic, highly personable, and a clear communicator. She is also willing to commit a minimum of 1 year to the position and to recruit and train her replacement when the time comes. I believe that Colleen has the passion, the experience and the skill set we need to take the Adopt a Beach program to the next level.

You'll be hearing directly from Colleen in future blog postings and will have a chance to meet her in person at the upcoming kick off/team social meeting. (Nothing has been announced yet, but it keep your calendar clear for early June). I plan to remain an active member of the Watershed Task Force and will be on hand to support Colleen during the training and transition period.

In the meantime, please start faxing your data collection sheets to Colleen at 714-371-1852.

This is an exciting new chapter for the Adopt a Beach Program. I can't wait to see your new initiatives and progress in the months ahead! Speaking of progress...
News Flash!
SDSU has just completed a study on the impact of cigarette butts. Based on the results of their findings (one cigarette butt can kill a fish in a liter of water within 96 hours) they are pushing to get filtered cigarette butts classified as toxic waste with strict rules for disposal. Given the large number of cigarette butts you all find each month, I know this is a topic of great interest. Thanks to Mary Vondrak with Environmental Programs for bringing this to my attention.
Here's a link to the article if you'd like to read it yourself:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Adopt a Beach "Cleans Up" at Earth Day Celebration Awards Ceremony!

What an amazing day! The weather was beautiful, the dolphins were jumping and the air was filled with music. (Pause for a few bars of "Here Comes the Sun")

Speaking of the Sun - Mother Nature sure shined her spotlight on the Adopt a Beach program this year. AaB volunteers walked away with not one, not two but three (count em three!) awards this year. Wowi Zowi! (nod to Roby) I had prior knowledge of two of the awards - but I have to say the third one was a total surprise.

Mark Aubrey (Beach Master) was presented with the Watershed Task Force Volunteer of the Year Award. (applause/applause!)

The Zoller Team (Joe Zoller, Bob Bewak, and J. C. Hartley) walked away with the Watershed Task Force Team Award. (applause/applause!)

And I was surprised and honored when Bill Hart and John Dorey presented me with the coveted Stephanie Dorey Blue Water Dolphin Award. (gasp, hand over my heart!)

It is difficult to put into words what this award means to me. Stephanie was/is one of my heroes. I will treasure it always as a visual reminder of my time with you, the Adopt a Beach program and the amazing things we were able to accomplish together.

Most of you already know this, but for those of you who don't - Stephanie Dorey was a former San Clemente mayor and a legendary coastal advocate. Among her many environmental accomplishments was the formation of the Watershed Taskforce and the Adopt a Beach program. After Stephanie's death in 2007, the Watershed Taskforce created the dolphin award in her memory.

I also want to send a shout out to Shorecliffs Middle School, this year's recipients of the Blue Water award. Students in the school's Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) class gather recyclables and turn them in for money which ultimately is donated to needy families and school events. Impressive!

Check out the article and slide show in the OC register

And the San Clemente Times also did a great cover for us this year:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sandbags, Earth Day, March Stats and More!

Great Green Idea in Action -

Remember my post earlier this year where I asked for ideas on how we might "green our clean up efforts"? And do you recall the idea that was proposed by Mark Chavez to reuse city supplied sandbags instead of single use plastic bags to collect debris?

Never one to let a great idea go to waste, I found the perfect opportunity to pilot Mark's idea when I helped out at Surfrider's Global Ocean Initiatives event. With permission from the local chapter, volunteers were provided sandbags instead of the single use disposable bags typically used for large scale cleanups.

Results - overall, the results were encouraging. No complaints - the volunteers seemed to enjoy participating in the pilot and helping us test out the use of the sandbags. We handed out approximately 40 sandbags -resulting in keeping 39 single use bags out of the landfill! All but 4 bags were returned to us - one volunteer was still out cleaning when we packed it up, and 2 people asked if they could hang on to the sandbags and use them for future cleanups. We did decide to "retire" (dispose of) one of the bags because of its contents - a dead bird. :(

Next Steps - expect to see the bright yellow sandbags out in full force on Earth Day in San Clemente. The Watershed Task force is partnering with the local chapter of Surfrider and the city will be supplying the sandbags for the event. And to think - it all started with an observation, a request, and a great idea...

Note - Corn based plastics bags are typically handed out at large group clean up events. They are often viewed as a “greener” alternative to petroleum based plastic bags – but they are still designed to be a single use disposable item (inherently NOT GREEN) and there are other issues associated with their production and disposal. They are promoted as biodegradable, however most people don’t realize that it can take these PLA plastics as long as 1000 years to biodegrade in a landfill because they don’t receive the air and water necessary to break them down.

Earth Day 2009
Speaking of Earth Day, I hope to see you all at the festivities this Saturday. The fun starts at 10:00am and runs until 2:00pm. There will be music, informational booths, cool giveaways, and more at the park area above the pier. This year will be even more special because...

Two of the Adopt a Beach teams are up for awards! I know who they are but I'll keep it a surprise - so plan to be near the stage at 12:55pm to hoop and holler and whistle and applaud with me. Who knows - maybe it will be your team!

March Totals
Activity was slow for March. Spring Fever? An extra dose of gratitude to the Steadfast Six:

- Joe Zoller Team
- Miller Wood Team
- F.I.S.H. - St. John's Youth Group
- Weller Family
- Seaview Pharmacy
- Beach Master


Here is the link to the report for March:

I have more news to share with you, but it will have to wait until my next posting. Maybe a special post Earth Day edition? To be continued...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Time to Pass the Baton

The Search is on for the next Adopt a Beach Program Manager/Volunteer Coordinator!
Yes, my wonderful friends, neighbors and fellow ocean advocates – it is true. I am preparing to take on some new responsibilities/ adventures and feel that this is the best time to turn the program leadership over to someone new. I was just getting ready to contact my friends at Surfrider and ask them to post something on their website (after all – that’s how you got me :). Then I thought, hey, wait a minute – there is probably someone already on one of our Adopt a Beach teams that would be perfect to take this on.
Might that someone be you?
If so, shoot me an email to let me know of your interest ASAP. And just so you know – it is a voluntary gig. Personally rewarding – yes! But, alas, no monetary compensation.
My plan is to have our new program manager/volunteer coordinator in place (and filling my Rainbow sandalsJ) no later than May11th.

Now, on to the the business at hand...
The February Data is In
And it was another successful month! Have I told you guys lately how much I appreciate you? A gold sea star and a big round of virtual applause for all the vounteers on these dedicated teams:
- Joe Zoller Team
- F.I.S.H. - ST. John's Youth Group
- SC Sunrise Rotary Club
- SC Green
- Wicks Family
- SC Historical Society
- Lemly Family
- Weller Family
- Seaview Pharmacy
- Beach Master
Quote of the Month:
In closing, I thought I would share with you another one of my favorite quotes.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money." Cree Indian Proverb

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome Team Lemly
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Don and Kathy Lemly in front of the pier and getting them all set up to join our happy crew. Here is a photo of them with bucket in hand ready to take on the world...or at least their selected section of beach. Expect to see their names reflected on future monthly summary reports for Section 13 (Restrooms to Boca del Canon).

Here it is - 2009 and the Adopt a Beach Program is already off to a strong start. All 22 sections of beach were covered in January. An auspicious beginning indeed!

Here are the NINE TEAMS that came through for us in January:

Joe Zoller Team
Miller/Wood Team
Jefferson Family
F.I.S.H. - St. John's Youth Group
SC Sunrise Rotary Club
Wick Family
SC Historical Society
Weller Family
Beach Master

Click here for the January Report.

Year End Wrap Up
And to each and every team who turned in a data sheet last year, thank you for your part in making 2008 an amazing year for the Adopt a Beach program. I just finished the final summary report for the year and I think you will be proud of what we accomplished together. Take a look!

As you all know, I am always on the lookout for ways we can improve our processes, reduce waste and go greener. Mark Chavez (Beaches Parks and Recreation Division) has come up with a very creative yet practical idea to help us reduce the number of plastic non-reusable bags being used for beach cleanups. SANDBAGS. Yep, those bright yellow city supplied sandbags could be just the ticket to helping us go green. If you or members of your team are currently using plastic bags for your cleanups, I strongly encourage you to use (and reuse) a sandbag instead. You can pick them up from Marine Safety. By the way, if your team is taking steps to "green their team" I want to hear from you. Who will be the first team to send me a photo of the sandbags in action?

Special Presentation This Thursday
Captain Charles Moore from the Algalita Research Foundation will be presenting at the Coastal Advisory Meeting on the effects of plastic in the ocean, now commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It's on Thursday, February 12th, 7:00pm at the Community Development Building, 910 Calle Negocio, 2nd Floor South Entrance. Sure to be an eye opener and there is no charge to attend.
More to Come
Plans for another team get together is in the works and there will be more in the way of information and announcements coming your way in the weeks ahead. I'll save those for another time to avoid info overload. For now, I will leave you with this thought:

It's a new year - stretched out before us like a beautiful empty beach. Where will you leave your footprints this year?

Monday, January 12, 2009

December Data is IN.

FOR 2008

You guys are full of surprises.

In spite of the holidays and competing commitments, the activity reports for December were some of the strongest ever.

Here's a special salute to the 12 teams who made it happen:
Joe Zoller Team
Flotsam & Jetsam Crew
Miller Woods Family
Jefferson Family
F.I.S.H. - St. John's Youth Group
San Clemente Green
Wicks Family
San Clemente Historical Society
Weller Family
Lasuens Boardrider Club
Citro Family
Beach Master

Again, an extra salute to Mark Aubrey (Beach Master) who managed to cover the entire 22 sections of beach/trail several times this month. Although not quite as exciting as saving a drowning man, he did report finding a new watch on the beach which he was able to return to its rightful owner. What other interesting things were found? Click on the following link to find out: