This past Saturday, Heal the Bay’s Dave Weeshoff gave an incredibly informative talk here at the Center in Los Angeles to a multigenerational audience in attendance.
Weeshoff, a bird enthusiast and passionate environmentalist, started out by showing photographs that he had taken of birds. He has taken seven trips to Antartica! He effortlessly transitioned into talking about our current exhibition Arline Fisch: Aquatic Bloom by mentioning that sea jellies are a favorite food of turtles. Balloons and plastic bags look like sea jellies in the ocean, so birds and turtles will eat them thinking it’s food.
Weeshoff stressed how important our oceans are to the health of the planet. 1 billion people rely on the ocean!
He also gave us information that we found fascinating. Even though compostable and biodegradable products will get broken down in dirt, they will not break down in the ocean because it’s not the right environment (too cold, not the right bacteria…). He also mentioned that plastic bottlecaps, when in the ocean, forms a film around them that smells just like food to birds. When the larger birds eat them, they feed them to their young who aren’t able to get them through their system and end up dying.
He did mention that California is a leader nationally and globally for environmental policy.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Purchase more thoughtfully
-reduce the amount of plastic you purchase
-say no to straws and lids when possible
-purchase more handmade objects, these will be more precious and you’re less likely to throw them away
-clean any object that goes into the recycling bin
-any paper good that is coated in plastic is not recyclable
-any paper/cardboard that has food on it or soaked into it is not recyclable
Check with your local sanitation department to see what can be recycled in your area.
Organizations like Heal the Bay organize beach cleanups. These are the last chance to stop this plastic from getting into the ocean.
In beaches near urban centers, do not go in the ocean for 3 days after a rain because of all the runoff from cities.
Summer usually has good beach water quality because there is less rain.
Heal the Bay actually produces a report card for the beaches in Southern California.