Here at San Diego Whale Watch, we love going out to sea and finding whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Every excursion is different and we never know what to expect to see. While searching for wildlife, we also find the unsightly unnatural things in the ocean too. On any given trip there may be sightings of trash like Mylar balloons, plastic bags, bottles, and full bags of trash!

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When Whale Watching gets Ugly: Ocean Conservation Driven by Watching Whales in a Plastic Filled Ocean 5

Land is the starting line for all things man-made to include plastics. The finish line is not so pretty. While on our whale watch trips, we do our best to pick up marine debris we see out in the Pacific Ocean. Most of the time, when scanning through our binoculars, searching for whale spouts, we find Mylar balloons floating out at sea. Mylar balloons do not break down, and once they lose their coloration, they turn clear and look like food to many sea animals. Sea turtles are the perfect example, as they love to feed on jellyfish and may mistake clear Mylar balloons for their main food source.

We will continue to pick up trash on every trip AND coordinate Beach Cleanups too!

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When Whale Watching gets Ugly: Ocean Conservation Driven by Watching Whales in a Plastic Filled Ocean 6

This month, we had our first Beach Clean-up of 2020! We had a great turnout with 15 volunteers that donated their time to pick up trash from Ocean Beach, California. The volunteers found 40 lbs. of trash. Items retrieved were clothing, hypodermic needles, plenty of bottles and cans, and half a bucket of microplastic and plastic bits! Many of these items are not biodegradable and can remain on our earth for hundreds of years and even indefinitely! We conduct Beach Cleanups quarterly throughout the year. Please follow us on Facebook to get involved and clean up our beaches we love so much!

Top 3 Ways You Can Help!

1.    Reduce single-use plastic use.

Opt for reusable bags, bring your own containers when taking food home at lunch or dinner, and don’t celebrate with Mylar balloons.

2.    Support Green businesses in their effort to make change!

Plenty of businesses, both big and small are starting to make smart choices on reusable options, so your support could encourage them to keep it up!

3.    Get Social!

Keep the conversations on conservation going! Let your friends and family know what you’ve learned and encourage green practices!