Sunday, September 21, 2014

Coastal Cleanup Day 2014

Coastal Cleanup Day is the single largest one-day volunteer effort on the planet. Our little effort at Kehoe Beach, "just a spit in the stream" goes on year-'round. We like to say Coastal Cleanup Day is our Christmas, our Rosh Hashanah, our Ramadan and we wouldn't miss trekking out to the beach to join in with others however, besides our usual work-a-day its been a long week with several late nights including a presentation for the Marin Scuba Club and a visit from a dozen docents from the Oakland Museum. The Point Reyes National Seashore has organized a clean-up at Drakes Beach so at our "our beach" Kehoe, it's just the two of us and a lone surfer. It's fun watching him out there bobbing along and it occurs to us the sport shouldn't be called surfing, it should be called waiting 'cause as exciting as it is to see him glide down the wall of a wave about 99% of the time out there is spent waiting for a wave.

This year we were happy to be included in the California Coastal Commission's Faces of Coastal Clean Up Facebook page. Here is our contribution:

Picasso famously said "Others seek, I find" - a perfect description of our competitive spirit on the beach. To combat the anguish of the plastic washing in we make a game of it with prize categories.

1. Degree of difficulty in finding: The beige soldier wedged under a piece of driftwood. 
2. Rarity: A badminton birdie. Add to the category a disposable lighter, a balloon lip, a red cheese spreader, a green coffee stirrer, a lemon squeezer, etc. 
3. Mystery: Something mysterious we've never seen before. 
4. Identify: We recently learned that the pastel colored disks we often find are livestock eartags.

Being "in the zone" and "in the flow," that sought-after state of mind where the everyday disappears and time changes state, is something that comes during a long day at the beach where focus causes a kind of happiness. As artists making work from our beach gleanings, we love a day of finding while others seek.

#CoastalCleanupDay #FacesOfCoastalCleanup 

Our friends at the San Francisco ad agency BBDO used some of our very own Kehoe Beach for the ad campaign for this years poster:

And yes, that is our plastic in the sand making the cameo appearance in this PSA

As David Brower said: "Have fun saving the world or you are really going to depress yourself" so today our "fun in the finding" list includes:

1. Degree of difficulty in finding — Some previous winners include: a buried monkey in a space-suit, 1 inch black M-16 rifle, a mummy action figure wrapped in seaweed. But today, the tiniest speck of plastic poking out of the sand was the head of a tiny scuba diver complete with tank and regulator. Not too surprising since on Wednesday we presented our power point to the Marin Scuba Club. We hope they tune to the blog for the prize of the day. When Judith found this she said, "OK, we can go home now."

2. Rarity — Some previous winners include ballot box lid from San Francisco 2001 election (1), Barbie comb (2), Plastic cat-toy mice (3)  Bratz Doll sunglasses (1). But today its the first time ever to find a head of iceberg lettuce in a plastic bag, ready for that sand-wich?

3. Mystery — "Ocean Spray" the perfect name for this label in the sand made it the pic of the day for our mystery item. 

4. Identify — we found fasteners for livestock eartags but, they were still attached to the livestock. Who let the cows out?

Prize winner for the worst product idea ever found on the beach: (almost as bad as Kraft's Cheese 'n Cracker snack kits with the red plastic paddle spreaders) —presenting MIO, a plastic bottle of flavoring for your water in a plastic bottle. We don't want to pile on Kraft Foods (what would we do without Velveeta?) but really, guys & gals a plastic bottle filled with sucralose, propleyene glycol, red 40, etc.!!!