Jack Johnson’s Concert to Clean the Beach

Another reason to love Jack Johnson: he’s performing a free concert on the Santa Monica Pier to help Heal the Bay, a kick-ass organization that works to keep our sea and seaside clean in Los Angeles. It’s billed as a “Concert To Clean The Beach” and that’s how you get your ticket to see him perform on the pier — by participating in a beach clean-up organized by Heal the Bay a few days before the concert.

UPDATE: It was great. Not sure how long this will be live, but the concert was streamed live and can be seen here.

Oil Spill Horror: Taking Action

If you’re like us, you’ve read about the oil spill and felt bad about it, but maybe you have stopped short of looking at too many images or reading deep into how terrible it really is. Take a look at these photos from the Boston Globe. It’s horrible. So what can we do? Wind power, people! Read about it and put in your two-cents and write to Congress, asking for a change. –Stef McDonald

Mavericks Wave Knocks Over Spectators

The Mavericks surf contest always promises excitement. But spectators expect to witness the excitement from afar–close enough to see but, well, that’s close enough. A wave overtook spectators this past week and the several suffered broken bones and while others were bruised and battered. Scary.–Stef McDonald

Cool Gift: Adopt a Sea Creature

Via The Daily Green: If you’re looking for a non-commercial gift idea for a loved one who worships the sea, consider adopting a sea creature with Oceana, a non-profit organization that fights to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. The recipient of your gift gets a cookie cutter or stuffed animal as a token and Oceana uses donations to fight the good fight in protecting dolphins, sea turtles, penguins, and more.–Stef McDonald

Whale Tale: Sweet!

One of those heartwarming emails that gets forwarded landed in my inbox today (thanks, Robert) about a whale that was stuck in traps but eventually freed. The story, cut and pasted from the email:

“If you read a SF Chronicle front page story, you would’ve read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line-rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad-off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around–she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be as fortunate to be surrounded by people who’ll help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And may you always know the joy of giving and receiving.

I pass this on to you in the same spirit.”

Attack of the Sea Blobs?


National Geographic reports that mucus-like sea blobs have been forming in what appears to be an effect of rising water temperatures. Yes, that sounds like something you’d read in a sci-fi novel; marine biologists who have studied the blobs say they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses and have the potential to kill sea life. An author on the study of the mucilage suggests that this is a good call to action for all of us to seriously take action against global warming. Amen.–Stef McDonald

Give a Hoot: Coastal Cleanup Day

Saturday was Heal the Bay‘s Coastal Cleanup Day. Records were set for participation (more than 14,000 registered volunteers) and production (more than 300,000 pounds of trash), with organized trash collection efforts taking place in 60 countries, 60 of them in Los Angeles. The photo above was taken near my home, where I was heartened to see lots parents with their kids at work. Of course, if people would only pick up after themselves, the trash take would be lower and there would be no real need for such volunteer efforts. If only… a girl can dream, right?

Below, some classic public service commercials on the subject.

Good Luck Dolphins

I went out surfing last week in Venice with a new surfer girl. Jillian is the niece of a friend and was visiting from the East Coast. She’s a teen and had taken some surf lessons, popping up on her soft board in the white water for a few days. The water was pretty flat on the morning we met for our surf and she was sleepy-eyed and quiet, saying only that she wanted to chill on the beach for a while. I convinced her that we should paddle out past the breakers and see what we might catch. The waves were few and far between, but the water was warm and it was a pretty morning. Then, up popped the head of a sea lion within feet of us–and this woke Jillian up fast. Shortly after that, we spotted dolphins and and she was all smiles. Me, too; I never tire of seeing dolphins out in the water. I told her that I believe it’s good luck when you see dolphins swim by. Is that true? she asked. I told her I made it up but believed it. “Well, I’ll bet it’s good luck somewhere,” she said. Good answer. I agreed and told her that it was good luck in California if you saw a dolphin in the water. . . The photo above comes from Lisa Denning, whose gallery of dolphins can be found here.