Oceanside Pier Beach Cleanup

What started as my love of ocean critters and desire to keep their home clean....has grown into a movement of inspired kids helping cleanup the beaches and oceans we love sooooo much.  Someone once told me it would be impossible to clean up all the beaches...but I'm a kid and we live for "impossible."  When I did my first MicroActivist kids beach cleanup I was nervous...would any kids show up? Would they have fun! would they be bummed they 'had' to pick up trash?  When the day came, tons of kids showed up and not only did we have fun but we had a blast! Everyone was competing to find the most trash, weirdest trash, and kids were covered head to toe in sand after climbing into tight spots in the rocks to get trash that was long forgotten and hard to reach.  My soul is filled with excitement knowing not only is it possible to clean the beaches but my kids are eager to do it!

 

Interested in having the MicroActivist do a beach cleanup of your local beach?  Our team is growing everyday and we would love to help! Reach out to us and let us know you are interested and we will see what we can do....remember 'Don't tell a kid something is impossible!" :)

Catalina Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup Day

Catalina is my happy place..it is where I have met many of my best fishy friends.  This island is only a short distance from mainland California...but it feels like a different world.  I did some of my first scuba dives in Catalina and have always enjoyed how clean and beautiful it is.  When I heard about the Catalina Underwater Clean Up I knew it was something I needed to do to give back to this beautiful place.  
 

We did lots of prep to get our gear ready but nothing ever goes as planned!  The new custom suit that was supposed to keep my skinny bones warm was delayed so I was forced to layer up with a suit that didn't fit too great.  I didn't let it stop me and we set out for an early morning dive.  The event is run by a super cool group of volunteers that are awesome at keeping everyone safe and making it a fun event.  We found all sorts of trash during our dive...cans, broken glass, small pieces that have fallen off of boats, bottles, and a plate shaped like a fish.  It felt great to clean up the bottom for all the cute octopuses and other critters that call it home.  I'm sure they appreciate it!  Overall it was a great day and it really inspired us to see so many people come together to help protect the island that they love :)

The Octopus - Aliens among Us

The Octopus - Aliens among Us

So grown-ups keep asking, what made me decide to make a video about Octopusses? Well...let me instead ask you, why would a kid NOT want to explore, investigate, and then blab about everything there is to know about these truly bizarre creations!? 
I can't think of a single super hero that has as many abilities as one of these buggers! How about Star Wars then...Nope nothing so bizarre as an octopus in any of those movies either. Harry Potter, Lord of the rings? Nope and Nope!
What really confuses me is how so many kids go crazy about these made up things when any of use can just go right out there and actually meet the strangest and coolest living alien that anyone could possibly imagine... ever!
So to better answer that question, I guess I'd have to say my Mom and Dad agreed to help me make this video

Dana Point Underwater Cleanup

So once a year a bunch of divers get together and clean part of the harbor....the underwater part of the harbor....how cool is that!!  This is the first year I could help (I needed to have my Padi dive card) and I was sooooo excited!  My friend Jaden and I volunteered to help and didn't know quite what to expect.

Slipping into the harbor was weird, there were boats all around us but volunteers had everything roped off so we would stay safe.  When we dropped below the surface I could see about 1 foot....until I kicked my flipper the first time..then it was like diving with my eyes closed.  We put out hands in the muck at the bottom of the harbor and swam along feeling for anything that wasn't supposed to be there.  At one point my mom's hand went across a ray and she screamed, it was really funny!

I felt so good to see the huge pile of trash everyone brought up, knowing that the cute sea lions I love and all the fish that are my buddies will be safe and don't have to worry about getting tangled in this stuff!  I wish I could have brought up more, but have big plans for next year's dive!

California Grunion Invasion

California Grunion Invasion

This remarkable yet elusive fish fights to bring its next generation into the world..

I love the ocean and all it's critters!  One night my parents took me to watch the grunion fish invade our local Southern California beach to spawn.  I got to stay up until the middle of the night and experience an amazing fish behavior that few have ever heard of. The night was full of amazement, freezing, getting drenched, and sadness. Why sadness?....

Cleaning up..at the bottom of local lakes

Here in Southern California we have been experiencing a drought for the past few years.  Trees are dying, lawns are dead, and local ponds and lakes are at the lowest level many people can ever recall.  I've been so sad to see the pond that is near my home transform from a fun place full of fish, frogs and birds to a large muddy puddle with a few struggling turtles.  Don't worry I have a plan to save the turtles should the water level get dangerously low for them :).  

One thing became clear as the water levels dropped, there are decades of accumulated trash hidden under the surface.  Always trying to find the positive in every situation, I set out to clean my local Jack's Pond so it will be all the more healthy when the rains come and the water fills back in.  What I thought would be a quick clean up has turned into quite the project, as each time I would get it all cleaned up....the water level went further down and exposed more work for me! 

It has been quite a project and I have found some of the craziest things.....shoes, socks, a Halloween wig, fishing line, and a watch.  I'm looking forward to winter bringing some rain and filling the pond some, and hopefully the local critters will appreciate a litter free environment.

Joshua Tree Clean Up

Joshua Tree is an amazing place located in the desert of Southern California.  It is home to many amazing desert creatures such as this Horned Toad Lizard.  Although the desert may look rough and tough, it is actually quite fragile.  I was happy to clean up all the debris and trash I could to help the critters of this beautiful place.  Please always remember when camping and hiking to leave nature cleaner than you found it.  If we each do this it will make a huge difference!

ENDANGERED MONK SEALS - SPREADING THE WORD

Dr. Terrie Williams directs the Marine Mammal Physiology Project at UCSC and is doing research to help understand monk seals. After seeing my efforts to clean up nets in Kauai she invited me to come meet the monk seal they are studying and have a tour of their amazing facility! It was an amazing trip that encouraged me to continue my Micro-Activist efforts. I have been visiting local schools to let other kids know about these endangered creatures and to gain their voice in helping these amazing critters!