Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

As the holiday season sets in and we start to think about gathering with family and friends.  It is a time of reflection and of giving thanks for that which we are grateful.  Often we seek to acknowledge our thanks with gifts of appreciation.  In so doing, there is growing movement to give gifts of love such as giving experiences and sharing time together, or donations to favored causes rather than token “things.”  Not only does this bring you closer together, but also helps reduce the “stuff” that often clutters our world and is threatening the health of our planet.     
In fact, nature is an endless source of giving. Throughout the year, our environment is there continuously to give and provide experiences that may not have a monetary value, but a value to you or your loved ones.

This is best described in a famous quote from John Muir, “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” As you swim in the sea, take a hike in the woods, or speed down a snow covered mountain, it is important to consider all that nature provides you and your wellbeing.
However, what if those natural resources weren’t there for you and your family to enjoy? What if the ocean was unsafe for swimming? What if the beaches were covered in debris and pollution? What if our coast suffered from an oil spill or another Superstorm Sandy?

Fortunately, these resources are defended, preserved, and protected thanks to the many nonprofits through policy, awareness and education programs which require tenacious year-round work.
Therefore, as you are giving this holiday season, we ask that you consider giving a gift to COA in honor of a family member or friend to help us protect your favorite places and natural resources.
We also ask that you consider the environment when purchasing gifts to make less of an impact. Think globally, act locally. For more information and ideas on sustainable gifts, green holiday events, and ways to reduce your plastic habit please visit CleanOceanAction.org.

Tuesday, December 1st is “Giving Tuesday” and we hope you will consider making a gift to COA. Please call the office or visit our website to make your donation today.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

COA Dives Deep into the Plastic Problem

Beach Sweeps Captains, agency officials, environmental leaders, business representatives, and students gathered at COA’s Debris Sea Free Conference to discuss issues and solutions to plastic pollution that threatens our coasts.  The full day conference, which was open to the public, delved into various topics starting with an overview of the current state of marine debris by the renowned Joan Leary Matthews, Director of the Clean Water Division of the U. S. EPA (Region 2).

Throughout the day, guests enjoyed discussions and workshops, including single use solutions, biodegradable plastics, and the social science behind why people litter.  This event was in recognition of 30 successful years of the Beach Sweeps program, all its volunteers, and the data compiled at over 70 locations.

During COA’s Beach Sweeps every volunteer becomes a ‘citizen scientist’ as they record each piece of debris collected.  The data collection turns a one-day event into a legacy of information that is used to identify sources of pollution and monitor trends.  Clean Ocean Action has been honored to partner with Bloomberg LP to thoroughly analyze the Beach Sweeps’ data set.  These records were revealed at the conference unveiling the extensive evaluation of more than twenty years of data.  This information will help to accurately monitor trends linking them with various legislation, consumerism, weather events, and industry changes.

The attendees admired creative marine debris community art mosaics designed by local artists and volunteers.  The large panels created an interesting thought-provoking visual display of “trash into treasure” as participants entered into the main area of the conference.

Over 150 conference guests were treated to breakfast, lunch and a wrap-up reception highlighting the most valuable resource of the Beach Sweeps – our volunteer Beach Captains.  COA thanks all the Captains and volunteers over the years, as well as the talented and experienced workshop panelists, plenary moderators and speakers at the Debris Free Sea Conference. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Urge the Governors to Veto Port Ambrose

After the final hearings on November 5th, both Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo will have 45 days to veto Port Ambrose. The national and regional safety issues, and environmental and economic concerns that prompted Governor Christie’s first veto remain: this project would destroy important environmental resources, undermine our clean ocean economies, threaten our national and regional security, limit access to fishing areas, and accelerate climate change. Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo can and must put an end to this project once and for all. The Deepwater Port Act gives Governors the power to say “no”.

Call the Governors today and urge them to veto Port Ambrose:

Call Governor Christie: 609-292-6000

Urge him to Veto Port Ambrose as He Vowed in 2010.

Sample Phone Message:

“Hi, my name is ___________. I am a voter/student/resident from __________ and I am calling to urge Governor Christie to veto the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas project.

In 2010 Governor Christie promised as long as he is Governor he would veto any LNG application off our coast. I urge Governor Christie to keep his word and veto Port Ambrose.

This project is bad for New Jersey, harmful to the marine environment and threatens our economy and safety.  All these damaging results are needless. We do not need imported natural gas; the U.S. has an ample domestic supply. Governor Christie must put an end to this project once and for all by vetoing Port Ambrose. Thank you.”

Governor Cuomo: 1-800-566-5020

Urge him to Veto Dangerous & Dirty Fossil Fuel!

Sample Phone Message:
“Hi, my name is ___________. I am a voter/student/resident from __________ and I am calling to urge Governor Cuomo to veto the Port Ambrose Deepwater project.
Liquefied natural gas pollutes methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and NY cannot reduce climate pollution 80% by 2050 with the build-out of natural gas infrastructure.
New York needs to produce 50% of our energy from renewable sources by 2025 & Port Ambrose directly competes for space with offshore wind projects.
 We do not need imported natural gas; the U.S. has an ample domestic supply.

That is why I urge Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. Thank you.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

Waves of Thanks for a Successful 30th Fall Beach Sweeps

On Saturday, October 24th, close to 3,000 volunteers hit the beaches to participate in Clean Ocean Action's 30th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps at over 65 sites from Essex County to Cape May County. Volunteers removed and catalogued each piece of debris, helping to document ongoing pollution issues. Robust crowds were reported up and down the coast. Many volunteers came as teams from local businesses, corporate and grassroots organizations, school and church groups, and families, all with personal ties to the Shore and some with decades of Sweeps participation.

Special thanks to the Beach Captains who helped make this event so successful. Beach Captains, lead volunteers who direct the entire group of participants at each Beach Sweeps location, are essential to the program’s success. They are the heart and soul of Beach Sweeps. These dedicated volunteers coordinate and manage all of the volunteers on the day of the event, answer questions from the volunteers about ocean pollution and serve as COA representatives.

On Sandy Hook alone, Beach Sweep volunteers picked up: 5,846 plastic pieces, 5,324 food/candy wrappers, 4,785 caps/lids, 2,206 straws/stirrers, 1,879 cigarette filters, and 1,047 plastic beverage/soda bottles.

The next Beach Sweeps will be on Saturday, April 30th. In the meantime, join us at the Debris Free Sea Conference on November 11, 2015.