We were able to do that today with the Half Moon Bay Junior Lifeguards. I spoke about the dangers of marine plastics and we played a game to see how much they knew, and what ideas they had to eliminate single-use plastics in their lives. The kids were amazing and they proudly wore the Sea Hugger stickers they earned in very creative places, ha ha!
Afterward, we did a beach cleanup of the carnage from the 4th of July holiday. We performed a thorough sweep of Dunes Beach and found many interesting treasures, such as a soiled diaper buried in the sand (really?!), lots candy wrappers, water bottle and tops, cigarette butts, and the omnipresent Mr. straw!
These kids and their awesome leaders (including two of our Ambassadors) put on their gloves and did the dirty work so that others can enjoy a clean beach, and most importantly, the sea life will live to swim and fly another day. We chatted while we scoured and I heard some great stories, like when one kid went salmon fishing with his dad and when they gutted the fish, they found plastic in his belly (ugh)! They had no salmon dinner that night and the salmon died in vain (sad face).
I couldn't have been more impressed with these kids - not only are they learning to protect lives, they are learning to protect our beautiful Mother Ocean and all of her creatures. They are Sea Hugger Warriors!
About a month later, I ran into a mother of two twin boys who participated in the event. She said they came home and immediately eradicated the house of plastic straws, utensils, and any unnecessary plastic and put it in the recycling bin. Then they told her that they are no longer using straws or other single-use plastics - they even forgo straws at restaurants now. Wow - they got it! And more importantly, they are sharing the message. Mission Accomplished! (Well, at least it is a drop in the bucket and motivation for me to keep fighting the good fight!)
Shell Cleave is the Founder of Sea Hugger. She is a surfer, SUPer, Scuba Diver, and life-long trash picker-upper. She lives in Half Moon Bay, CA with her family and works to protect the ocean from plastic.
Shell is available for speaking engagements, please inquire at: firstname.lastname@example.org