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

Rating: 5 stars  

People need to know about the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and what they are doing. The problem of plastic in our oceans is horrible. I had no idea about any of this and I was very shocked to learn. My family and I have been changing our habits because of all the things the people at Algalita told me about and showed me. I am a middle school student and I was thinking about doing a film about helping the environment for a local film festival that was focusing on environmental issues. The problem was, I couldn’t think of any good subjects to do a film about. Then, I found an article about how my city had banned grocery stores from using plastic bags. I saw that some people were complaining and I wondered why the ban had happened. I looked online and started searching on “plastic problem”. That is when I read about the ocean and the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. It said the founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation discovered it in 1997. That’s the year I was born! I searched on “Garbage Patch” and that is when the videos started coming up with Capt. Charles Moore explaining and showing the problem. I had no idea!! I couldn’t believe it!!! They said 6 times more plastic was found floating in the ocean than there was plankton! What?? I asked my mom to take me out to the baylands and then the creek by our house so I could take my camera and see what it looked like where I live in the Bay Area in Northern California. Then we went to a local beach. More shock at what I saw there. There were plastic bottles, bags, and bits of plastic things all over. I took a chance and sent an email to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation to ask if I could visit them for my film while I was down in Southern California for another event. They said yes! I got to spend nearly 3 hours at their lab and I will never forget what I saw in person and the things Gwen Lattin told me about. I saw everything first hand from bits of plastic through the microscope to big plastic things they had found out in the North Pacific Gyre. It looks like sand, but it’s really tiny pieces of plastic! What’s worse is that birds and fish are eating the plastic bits thinking it’s food and they are dying. And what could this be doing to the food chain? Plastic is full of all sorts of chemicals! And then there’s the big stuff they found floating out there. There was even a whole plastic laundry basket out there! When I show people my short film, they are shocked too. I even won first place for my film in the festival. The Algalita Marine Research Foundation taught me so much about how plastic has become such a problem and I want to do what I can to help them spread the word to as many people as possible. To those people who were complaining about the ban on plastic bags – have I got something to show you.

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

Helping me to share information about this issue with others by letting me film what they have been doing and by making me more aware of this issue.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  General Member of the Public & I made a student film about what the Algalita Marine Research Foundation has been researching.