THANKS to all the amazing volunteers!!
KILL THE SPILL is working!
There were over 500 unofficial volunteers who came to
Lisa and her crew from matteroftrust.org came through again with heaps of oil absorbent “hair mats” to supply a waiting army. Local sponsors and individuals donated bags, gloves, food, shoes, and an eclectic array of kitchen/cat instruments to help in the effort. However, the most vital donations were time, enthusiasm, and positive energy.
A core team prepared an army of new volunteers who showed up help. We formed an assembly line to prepare the mats, distribute supplies, educate new volunteers, and send them out to the beach. Compassionate volunteers hit the beach gloved and running to sop-up as much oil as possible and put it in trash bags along the beach.
We distributed “to-go” kits to folks who wanted to help other areas. Surfers came inquiring about Deadmans, swimmers came worried about
There was no official central command center, no one to approve/deny anything; everyone simply used judgment towards a common goal. As this mass of armatures filled hundreds of bags of oil, the official response team was at the other end of the beach. I saw them yesterday in the rain, conducting an initial training (3.5 days after the spill). They were in rain suits, hard hats, and life jackets armed with rakes. There were about 25 of them prepping to hit the beach. However they did not have appropriate materials (no hair mats or absorbent material) thus were pretty inefficient. They were too small in number to make a significant impact on anything expect their immediate area (The Beach Chalet/VFWs). Nevertheless, this crew of contracted cleaners from SoCal was friendly and helpful. They coveted our “hair mats” and shared their rain suits. Kudos to those guys who clean this shtuff up on a regular basis! Welcome to
We understand that several other areas are CONSIDERABLY worse off than
There were some moments of depression among the crew today regarding the official investigation and clean-up response. The situation with the pilot and the alcohol test is so absurd it is humorous. No one has seen an official clean up crew south of Gate 22. We still have bags of oil sitting on tarps, covered as best we can, waiting for the official HAZMAT team to remove. Some uneducated people continue to use the beach for recreation due to a lack of signs. Others do not clean-up properly or dispose of the oil in inappropriate places. We have aways to go before we are out of the woods.
However, the overall attitude today was amazing. This is a totally grass-roots effort. By leveraging friends and some key emails lists (Surfrider Foundation, Acqua Surf Shop, Save the Waves , and ZunaSurf.com) a handful of activists have created critical mass. Note that these organizations were in NO way officially affiliated with our group because they would never engage in potentially illegal activity!
Despite an overwhelming task in difficult conditions (toxic, windy, cold) with limited supplies there was never frustration or distress. Everyone lifted each other up, to rise to the task at hand, and make a difference. It made me proud to live in this neighborhood and to have such as compassionate, honorable, and competent group of friends.
All the volunteers should (and I’m sure they will!) sleep very well tonight.
KILL THE SPILL!