Month: June 2016

NC Marine Debris Symposium Scholarships Available

Posted on

NCMDS Debris w Fish Logo WEB USE

The NC Marine Debris Symposium crew is offering up a limited number of scholarships this year to cover registrations costs for currently enrolled college students.  Scholarship applications are available upon request from now until the end of July.  Submit your request today!  2016 NC Marine Debris Symposium

Registration is Open for the 4th Annual NC Marine Debris Symposium

Posted on

NCMDS Debris w Fish Logo WEB USE

Marine debris is a problem that continues to grow.  Our waterways and oceans are constantly polluted with a wide variety of marine debris ranging from polystyrene trays and plastic bags to derelict fishing equipment and abandoned boats.
Marine life, such as several Fish species, Whales, Sharks, Sea Turtles, and Birds have been known to ingest marine debris or become entangled in marine debris, which may lead to injury, intestinal blockage, and death.  Marine debris is an Eastern North Carolina concern not only because of the threats to our native wildlife, our ecosystem and our own health, but it also washes up on beaches and shorelines degrading the environment, and effecting our local economy and tourism.
Local cooperation and regional partnership is needed to create public awareness while developing ways to decrease the amount of debris going into the waterways as well as cleaning up the debris found in our waterways and on our shores.
We hope that this Symposium will create local cooperation and regional partnership by providing a forum for the exchange of information on recent developments, program ideas, and best management practices for marine debris prevention, education, and removal.

Register here: 2016 Registration for the NCMDS in Wrightsville Beach, NC

Earth and Surf Fest is Gearing Up for Good Time

Posted on Updated on

Get ready for ONE awesome day of FUN for the entire family at the Tenth Annual Earth and Surf Fest on Saturday, July 9th in North Topsail Beach.

This rad waste-free eco awareness event showcases many of the splendors that there is to enjoy in our coastal community environment.

Things get kicked off at 7am with registration for the Fun, Sun, and 5K Run on the beach, a one mile fun run, and the On Shore Surf Shop surf contest.

A free beach yoga session is offered by Keep Onslow Beautiful Committee member and certified yoga instructor, Christina Lewis, at 10am.  Bring a mat or towel and get ready to sweat and breathe in the sweet salty ocean air.  Don’t forget your refillable/reusable water bottle.  Refilling stations will be located at the event.

Live music begins in the morning and continues throughout the day.  We will also have a live broadcast with fav local DJ, Vaughn, from the morning show at Modern Rock 98.7/.

Local musician, artist, and long time beach sweeper, Justina will get things started with an acoustic solo act at the bathhouse stage area.  Headliners are local surf music jam rockers, Arise Awake who will get us through the mid day.

Later that afternoon, you get the chance to show your talents with a 2 hour open mic gig hosted by Wes Rider.  Be sure to bring a guitar, drums, or whatever you need to showcase your talents. Open mic jam session begins at 3pm and there will be a sign up form available at the bathhouse stage area starting at 2:30pm.

A traditional beach cleanup will be held throughout the day with the crew at the Plastic Ocean Project.  Prizes will be given, you can learn how to participate in a fun citizen science program, and you also have the chance to earn SAT credit hours (for high school volunteers).

This is a waste-free event so place make sure to carpool, bring your own reusable water bottle, and use the recycle and compost bins properly. Pack in and pack out any waste you bring that is not compostable or recyclable, please. There will be a healthy and waste-free food truck on site for all your munching needs throughout the day.

Healthy and eco friendly vendors and environmental education booths include:  Keep Onslow Beautiful, Plastic Ocean Project, Spring Locker, White Oak New River Association, NC Coastal Federation, Onslow Co Museum, NC CMAST and NC Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, Arbonne, Your Bottle Means Jobs, Sonoco Recycling, Loggerhead Designs, Oceana, Going Green, Beauty Counter, On Shore Surf Shop,Forkful Food Truck, Sparkling ICE, and more…

Thank you so much to our sponsors: KIXX Outfitters, On Shore Surf Shop, Only in Onslow, Sonoco Recycling, Spring Locker, Sparkling ICE, Keep Onslow Beautiful, Onslow County Solid Waste Department, Onslow County Parks and Recreation, Nixon, Dragon, Loggerhead Designs, Hyperflex Wetsuits, …lost, Global Surf Industries, Savage Surfboards, Sanuk, Prolite, Go Pro, Clean Energy Events, and Sun Bum.

Be sure to check out for registration, location with a map, and event info.



Celebrate International Surfing Day in EI with the Bogue Surfrider Crew

Posted on

International Surfing Day

DATE: JUNE 19, 2016
LOCATION: Bogue Inlet Pier

Yours to Enjoy, Yours to Protect

364 days of the year, Surfrider and our coastal defenders work tirelessly to protect our coasts.

For one day, International Surfing Day, June 19, we take a moment to reflect on the impact we’ve made, the campaigns we’ve won and the beaches we’ve protected.

Founded in 2005, International Surfing Day is an international celebration of the sport of surfing, while at the same time working to raise awareness and support for our world’s beach and coastal environments.

Now in its 12th year, ISD has grown into the largest global activation on the planet – with more than 200 Surfrider Foundation-led events taking place worldwide. Event locations include Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, France, the UK, Argentina, Japan, and more than 90+ events here in the United States!

This International Surfing Day, salute your favorite beach. Surfrider chapters celebrate International Surfing Day in a number of ways — by hosting events that include cleanups or other environmental projects paddle outs, surf film screenings, concerts, yoga sessions and much more.

Want to learn more about the EI event and others in the area??  Contact your local Surfrider rep MEOW!  Let’s keep all fingers and toes crossed for waves and don’t forget to clean your beach before and after you paddle out – it’s just good wave karma!

lisa and wes surf pic 1

Cape Fear Surfrider Seeks Volunteers this Thursday

Posted on

What: “only rain down the storm drain marking project! ”
Storm drain marking project with the City of Wilmington Stormwater Services and New Hanover County Soil and Water. We will paint “only rain down the drain” on stormwater drains. This will allow the participants and the general populace to learn the motto of ‘only rain down the storm drain’ and how pollutants that enter the storm drain system impact our local water quality. We also have door hangers we distribute to assist with community education.

When and where:
This Thursday June 16th, 8:30 am. We will meet at the intersection of Brookwood Ave and Metts Ave, off of Market Street. A little before the Port City Java if you’re headed towards downtown. We’ll have parking passes to place inside cars, which should be parked on Metts. We’ll also have safety vests.  Carpooling is highly encouraged. We will mark between 15-16 drains, so we will need between 8-12 volunteers. Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, bring a water bottle, hat, and sunscreen. The whole process should take ~2-2.5 hours.

Who to contact:
Please email David  Jacobs at:

Coastinista Celebrates Anniversary by Opening up Support to a Coastal Non-Profit

Posted on

It has been one full year since was launched – WOOHOO!  Where’s the cake?

For those that are new to Coastinista, please allow me to introduce, a regular cup of coastal conservation and eco-awareness.

Coastinista is a wee gab space to provide outreach on both important coastal issues and some fun coastal travel and water sports stuff too.  Coastinista covers serious global issues such as marine debris, but all work and no play makes Coastinista a dull gal and thus you will occasionally find a short video of sailing, surfing, or goofy golf cart tours.  You will also find tips on how to reduce waste, recycle more, and how you can contribute to improving your community environment on a regular basis.

Coastinista was originally established to host a venue for providing updates on last year’s eXXpedition, to make the unseen seen, and to share Coastinista’s journey to study ocean plastic aboard SV Sea Dragon during the month of December.  One of the main functions of Coastinista was to help raise funds for eXXpedition while showcasing sponsors of the research, but the blog site has continued in an effort to go beyond eXXpedition and serve a broader audience by providing current news, short vids, and beach-side gab that any saltwater junkie could potentially find entertaining.

The plan is to continue a tradition of raising awareness and support for improving our global coastal environments.  We hope to do so in part by raising funds for an ocean friendly nonprofit.  If you know of a deserving organization that could use some love, please submit their info here:


As Coastinista moves into another year of coastal adventures, she invites you to participate by sharing your own coastal news and tips for being more ocean friendly. Please submit to with an email title, “For Coastinista Consideration”

See  you on the water,


Guyana’s Foam Ban Addresses Marine Debris

Posted on Updated on

I learned early last year that Guyana would be banning styrofoam (polystyrene) containers starting in 2016 and was super stoked to hear the news, especially considering that I knew I would be traveling there as part of eXXpedition Amazon.

Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency spearheaded the ban and newly elected government officials have been supportive of the ban since their focus on improving both solid waste infrastructure and litter control in the country.

While staying in Guyana this past December, I noticed that the capital city, Georgetown, had noticeable improvements in disposal options and litter control compared to other areas of the country.  After speaking with several locals in Georgetown and Bartica, I learned that the efforts had just begun within the last year and that within just 3 months, they had noticed a significant improvement in roadside litter in the Georgetown area.  I also learned that efforts to expand infrastructure and grassroots cleanup programs to other areas of the country were in the works, but that it would take time.

guyana 4
Bags from a Roadside Cleanup in Georgetown, Guyana in December 2015

While I was in Bartica, the local tradition of disposing of waste along the river bank was still common practice (see images below).  The areas under piers and along the river looked like old school dumps and the amount of plastic being disposed of on the water’s edge was overwhelming. In other areas near Bartica (up river from Georgetown), the common practice of waste disposal included the open burning of trash, while in Georgetown there was noticeable trash collection services being provided and roadside cleanups taking place.

   Bartica, Guyana December 2015

According to several sources in Georgetown, the new government that took office last year has a huge focus on community environment improvement and have taken steps to help local organizations cleanup and greenup Guyana.  A cab driver that I spoke to in December went so far as to say that there would be a tax increase to improve infrastructure, but that it was well worth it to see the streets clean of debris and that the major improvements on solid waste collection and management would also cut down on disease and make the area more attractive for everyone.

The news on the ban is that as of April 1, 2016, the Styrofoam ban came into place and that the importation of these materials are now no longer allowed in Guyana.  This is great news for Guyana being able to reduce the waste going into landfills since they do not have the means to recycle it and the ban will also help them focus on new recycle programs that are in the works there.  

The country’s Ministry of Finance is also considering tax incentives for importers that bring in alternatives to polystyrene products, like compostable, recyclable, or reusable containers. This and efforts such as this could potentially help boost more sustainable companies and thus bring the cost of alternatives down on a global scale.

Guyana is setting an example that I hope others follow.  Government officials in Guyana are aware of the problems with single-use plastics that do not biodegrade and they are doing something about it.  With the news of the overwhelming global crisis of marine debris, Guyana is hearing the message and focusing on making improvements that their citizens can be proud of.  

guyana 2
Lighthouse in Georgetown, Guyana


Queen’s Creek Elementary goes Greener

Posted on Updated on


Queen’s Creek Elementary School, located in Swansboro, NC, is once again being recognized as an NC Green School of Excellence and we can congratulate them by helping them fund their next project that will expand their environmental efforts, provide an even brighter future for their students both now and in the future, and provide an opportunity for other schools in NC to learn how to follow in their footsteps.

The school is currently collecting donations to support their NC GreenPower Solar School Pilot Program.  Students and staff are grateful for the support from NC GreenPower and SECU who recently invested 2/3 of the funding needed for the project.  NC Green Power is located in Raleigh, NC and is 501 (c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of our state’s environment by connecting consumers with green energy and carbon offset providers. Since the program started in 2003, NC GreenPower supported have provided more than 450 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy right here in NC and have mitigated nearly 14,500 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases through carbon offset projects.

lisa teaching about recycling and landfills
students learning about landfill anatomy

Please join Coastinista in donating to the Queen’s Creek Elementary Solar Project (link below).  Not only will this help reduce energy use, but more importantly, this program provides teacher training to incorporate this program into their lessons while connecting with the NC Standard Course of Study and allowing for other schools in the area to learn as well during potential teacher workshops and student inquiry programs. “Additionally, having experience with solar energy at a young age allows our students to develop the mindsets needed for a more sustainable world in the future.” – Cathy Dalimante, School Assistant Principal

Queen’s Creek Elementary is already one of Onslow’s top recycling schools and has developed further programs to not only reduce waste, but make sure that more is being captured for recycling programs that address nontraditional materials for recycling through a program called TerraCycle.  Several grade levels at QCE attend tours of the local landfill and recycle centers to further their student’s education and awareness of proper waste disposal, waste reduction, recycling, and the environmental impacts of marine debris.  They also promote the Ocean Friendly Establishments program to area businesses through student and teacher letters that provide detailed information on how we all benefit from a clean community environment.

Help them Fund their Solar Project Here