Dec. 8 was the conclusion of a long year for Santa Monica resident Sara Bayles — in beach cleanups, that is, not days.
Bayles has finally achieved her goal of conducting a total of 365 beach cleanups, an effort started in March 2009 that resulted in over 1,300 pounds of trash collected on Santa Monica Beach.
For 20 minutes at a time on non-consecutive days, Bayles has cleaned her local beach and inspired hundreds of other people to do coastal cleanups of their own all over the world. She averaged a beach cleanup every three days since initiating her project more than three years ago on the same stretch of beach sand near Ocean Park Boulevard.
“Sara is extraordinary proof that one person armed with determination and purpose can change the world. A compelling and down-to-earth environmental activist, her work not only changes coastal conditions, it touches hearts and changes minds,” said Maria Calleia, a BBC and Lonely Planet Television Producer of “California Adventure,” which featured Bayles.
After performing the cleanup, Bayles takes photographs of the trash that she posts on The Daily Ocean blog, which has thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter. Links to other people’s Daily Ocean beach cleanups from all over the world like Italy, Germany, Florida, and North Carolina can also be seen there.
“I started The Daily Ocean so people could come together and get inspired to help the ocean,” Bayles said prior to her final collection. “Being almost at the end of my 365 beach cleanup goal feels amazing, but it’s just another beginning. It’s only 20 minutes and I’ve learned you can do a lot in 20 minutes.”