Protecting the planet
one beach at a time

I love our coast. The Northern California coast soothes my soul and makes me a better person. And sadly, I see the results of humans dumping eight million metric tons of plastic debris in the planet’s ocean each year. So I walk the beaches from Muir Woods to Jenner with my cameras and trash bags. I always find interesting subjects to photograph and trash to collect. Lots of trash, so far I’ve packed out nearly seven tons. Reducing all trash, especially plastics in the ocean has become my mission.

My passion for the environment draws me closer to her, nourishing my desire to protect habitat and reduce our impact on the coast, especially priceless Tomales Bay. In the past 10 years of combing this coast on foot and by boat, I’ve learned about the devastation of plastics on birds, fish, marine mammals, and of course humans. Plastic trash on the beach arrives mostly from the sea, though visitors and locals also contribute to the mess. Sun, waves and wind grind this plastic mess into tiny particles that bind with other petroleum based toxins. These particles are eaten by fish and birds, and enter the complex food web of which we are a part of.

Trash washes up 24/7/365. My volunteer efforts include collecting trash, leading beach cleanup groups, public education and weaving together businesses, government and non-profit agencies with shared information to mitigate our impact. Our annual Beach Clean-ups and local individual efforts are dwarfed by the wave of new trash arriving every day.

This website is a culmination of my effort to bring the problem to the forefront, discuss solutions and share the beautiful, surprising, often times sad and maddening discoveries. You’ll find reports of my findings going back to 2010, from Beijing 2008 Olympics water bottles that continue washing up, the America’s Cup AC-72 boat pieces, the regular arrival of dirty hypodermic needles at Point Reyes National Seashore beaches, flushed by heavy rains from the streets of Berkeley, Oakland and elsewhere into San Francisco Bay and to the sea.

Silent gratitude comes from my board of directors and occasionally a human. I don’t have sponsors apart from the individual donations to this website.

To take an active role, come walk the beach with me. Join the effort: buy less plastic, reduce your use of single-use items, pick up trash wherever you may be, help spread the word and educate others, support those who promote public policy to bring fundamental change. And, if you can help my efforts, I would be thankful for your donation.


Click on image to see it larger

Some of my tracks from hundreds of visits to this beach to remove marine trash.


Board of Directors

Crab season is approaching – would you hire a contractor that leaves a mess in your home?

Click the words above “Crab season is approaching – would you hire a contractor that leaves a mess in your home?” to see this entire post.

Commercial crab season is fast approaching. Without any issues causing a delay (domoic acid or other problems) it will open mid-November.

When you hire a contractor to work on your home, one of the criteria in making that hiring decision is how they leave your home once the work is done.

You talk to other customers, ask questions about quality of work, attention to detail, staying on budget and on schedule, right?

You also take into consideration how well they clean up after themselves each day, as well as at the end of the project, right?

If a contractor regularly left their worksite (your home) a mess, scrap wire, lumber, sheet rock laying about, food and drink containers scattered all over your yard and in the street, you’d likely talk to them about it, right?

If they did not correct the situation, you might even fire them and find another crew to finish the work.

You’d certainly be sure to tell anyone that asked about the mess this crew made and to be wary about hiring them.

OK then.

Crab fishing is hard work, no question about that.

But that is no excuse for leaving the ocean and coastline a complete mess each season.

Why do we expect contractors, gardeners, doctors and mechanics to clean up after they do a job, yet, we give a pass to the commercial (and sport) crab fishery each and every year? Even though they dump tons of plastic into the ocean, some of which is ground into fine plastic powder every year.

Recently I walked the southern portion of South Beach at Point Reyes Seashore. The first time I’d been to that area in many months.

I found the usual water bottles, food wrappers, lighters, shotgun shell shot-cups, forks, straws and lots and lots of crab fishing buoys, rope and only one Scotty’s bait jar. Six months since the last season closed and still crab fishing garbage is washing ashore, just like it does each and every day here at Point Reyes.

Crab fishermen, you either need to clean up after yourselves, or pay someone else to do it.

Along the California coast you lose thousands of buoys and traps each year, miles of rope, thousands of bait jars and other items.

This stuff is ground into powder by the waves and rocks and then it enters the food chain of which humans are a part.

Please clean up after yourselves. I’ve asked the Bodega fishermen to clean up the mess they and others leave at Point Reyes.

Their reply was NO, we will not help clean up the mess we make.

My efforts to rectify this situation will increase until marked progress is made.

Images below are from a week ago on South Beach. Links to previous posts on this topic are also below.

Dungeness Crab Season is here – How do I know?

Commercial fishermen are extremely conscious of their impact