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Review for Algalita Marine Research and Education, Long Beach, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My husband and I retired to Pawleys Island, South carolina, four years ago to enjoy coastal life. From the very first day I found myself picking up plastic on the beach. An environmentalist once told me that balloons can choke birds. So I never used another balloon! I realized that plastic had similar properties to balloons so I started to fret about all the plastic bags, bottles, toys, cups etc that people abandon on the beach. Unless you visit the beach each day you cannot imagine the amount of trash that people leave behind. Eventually it is all carried out to sea by ocean currents. I knew that this could not be good for marine life. Concern for the welfare of marine life was the impetus for a letter-writing campaign to people like Al Gore, Oprah, Michael Moore, and many others about "Another Inconvenient Truth." I knew that if the beaches at Pawleys had a plastic problem, beaches all over the world must have a plastic problem. But the letter writing did not bring forth the desired response. Next I googled: "trash in the ocean" and up popped Captain Charles Moore and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. I had my first introduction to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch! Horrified by everything that I read I could not get the issues out of my head. I went to bed thinking about the problems and woke up thinking about the problems. Since then I have spent my life trying to bring awareness to the problems of plastic pollution in the ocean including: writing letters to newspapers and magazines, sending emails; starting a Plastic-free Pawleys project;organizing turtle walkers to pick up plastic as they search for turtle tracks. The more I learned, the less I could understand why the plastic corporations are permitted to continue manufacturing this toxic trash, without retribution. Our planet has survived the Ice Age, and the Dinosaur Age, but we are now fighting for survival in The Plastic Age. Corporate profit is more important than the well-being of our environment and our species. The indifference to all life is immoral. As Captain Moore reports: "Plastic is taking over the natural world!" And I believe that there is no longer anything with a heartbeat that is safe from the impact of plastic. Encountering Algalita and Captain Charles Moore has changed the direction of my life. Retirement is no longer an option: Helping Algita reduce the global footprint and saving the inadvertent deaths of millions of birds and sea creatures is by far more important.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had the great privilege of meeting Captain Moore when he came to UNC Wilmington, North Carolina to give a presentaion at the request of graduate student, Bonnie Monteleone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is already an excellent organization. I could not improve it.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The educational aspect. Without this organization the world would have no idea about the devastating effects of plastic.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Marieta Francis with frequent emailing and phone calls. Bonnie Monteleone, volunteer, came to Pawleys Island to give a power point presentation about her personal experiences.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Continue to research plastic in the oceans all around the world and continue to bring awareness to every human across the globe.

Ways to make it better...

I would like to live closer to Long Beach!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The attitude of the plastic manufacturing companies which continue to produce their goods regardless of the damage created.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Keep up the good work ALGALITA!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  General Member of the Public & I set up a Plastic-free Pawleys project and give power point presentations.