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Micro Plastics talk with KUSI LIVE @ Ocean Beach

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Live News Report from our friends at KUSI San Diego Chanel 9 while Castle Park High School Students prepare to walk the beach searching for micro plastics and anything that could negatively affect the coastline and the environment. Let’s remember to “pick up three” every time we are out in the streets, the park or at the beach!

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2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic on January 4th

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

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We are super excited to announce our participation at the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic on January 4th. The event is organized and brought to you by local Oceanforcers Hodad’s and AWOL. Thanks to this folks an the communitie’s collective efforts we will be celebrating our love for Surfing and the Ocean. Among the many attractions of a classic Surf Contest tailored to the entire family, there will be beach and Park cleanups, a Beach Market with some of the best local businesses in town, music, raffles and more.

If you are signed up to enter the contest the earlier you arrive at the beach, the better. For those of you who are coming for the ocean conservation work mostly, just remember:

  • We gather up 30 mins before each cleanup to get to know each other, share important information about the issue of plastics in our oceans, talk safety and coordinate the activity.
  • Bring Your Own Bucket and/or a Small Glass Bottle to collect micro plastics. Minors need to be accompanied by an adult.
  • Participation is FREE. Donation based – your kind contribution of any amount or skill (as a volunteer) allows us to continue our ocean conservation work.

We will be having a beach cleanup mid morning at 10AM and another one in the afternoon at 2PM. If you are interested in joining the team for the day and helping us at the Oceanforce booth and assist with the cleanup please write to ( alfonso d0t 0ceanforce at gmail d o t com) Community service forms available for those of you who might need it. Minors need to be accompanied by an adult. Bring water, warm clothes, and carpool if possible :)

Please take a few minutes to visit our friends @ www.hodadies.com and www.awol1502.com  

Thank you.

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Surfing for the Ocean – Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic 2017

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Oceanforce Foundation is honored to once again announce our participation in this year’s Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic 2017 organized by Hodads and AWOL. Oceanforce will be leading two cleanups of the Park and Beach area during the surf and fair festivities. Our ocean conservation activities will be called “Surfing for The Ocean.”

Come celebrate the history of Surfing in our town and help solidify our legacy of Ocean Conservation with Us @ the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic this Saturday February 4th 2017. Make sure to visit www.obsurfclassic.com to register and to learn more about the event. Brought to you in collaboration with Ocean Beach Locals AWOL Productions – please check them out @ www.awol1502.com.

And when you are ready for some of the BEST HAMBURGERS IN TOWN don’t forget to visit HODADS at any of their three great locations in Ocean Beach, Down Town and PETCO Park. Hodads is an ethically correct family owned business and a strong supporter of our local Ocean Conservation work – please show your support and pay them a visit @ www.hodadies.com

 

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Oceanforce Water Warriors on Channel 8 – We Are All Standing Rocks!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

 

A quick video recap from Saturday morning during our peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. After an early morning beach cleanup and a beautiful blessings ceremony lead by native local activists, more than 50 community members joined us for a group photo in support of our brothers and sisters fighting to protect our sacred water and lands. Aired on KFMB-TV News at 5PM. San Diego, California.

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Their River Is Our Ocean – We Are All Standing Rocks.

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Their River Is Our Ocean – We Are All Standing Rocks

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Who:

Captain Alfonso Lopez and the Oceanforce Foundation Team.

What: 

The city of San Diego gathers in peaceful solidarity to show support in full opposition to the Dakota Access Pipe Line project (DAPL) which intends to lay crude oil pipe lines near the Mississippi River, and the ancestral site for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Lake Oahe, endangering one of our most precious resources (drinking water) and violating the ancestral rights of our native people’s sacred lands. Beyond the ecological catastrophe which this technological private venture poses to the local environment and that of the planet as a whole, this marks a turning point in our lack of interest in continuing to relay in fossil fuels.

We will be taking a group photo with two (2) 40+ foot signs that will read:

THEIR RIVER IS OUR OCEAN – WE ARE ALL STANDING ROCKS

“This is a peaceful war of attrition.”

 

When:

Saturday December 3rd 2016

We meet at 10AM to share any and all information about this pressing issue, chant, pray, share a good time and get to know each other.

Group photo taken at 12 O’Clock. We will be lining the two giant banners with the Ocean in the background and taking a group photo. Aerial photography and video will be happening on site.

We expect a large amount of community members to join us for this peaceful gathering so PLEASE try to arrive early. Let’s carpool to consume less fossil fuels. For those who are closer, plan to ride your bicycle, skate or walk. PLEASE invite all of your friends.

Where:

We will be meeting North of the Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego, CA. USA. You should be able to find parking within a 5 block radius or so. Let’s decompress – you don’t need to park right by the beach.

Online @:

You can find more information on www.oceanforce.org and on our Facebook page Oceanforce https://www.facebook.com/events/352665878421305/

Media Contact:

Direct message through our Facebook event page or email CAPT. Alfonso Lopez at alfonso.oceanforce@gmail.com

What Else:

We will be holding a beach cleanup from 10:30Am to 11:30AM to show respect and care for our oceans.

Charitable cash donations will be accepted through Oceanforce Foundation.

A Drum Circle will be marking the beat. Native American Blessing will be given.

Hashtags #:

#NODAPL #theirriverisourocean #weareallstandingrocks #nomorecrudeoil #waterislife #missouririver #celanwater #cleanrivers #cleanoceans #cleanenergy #sacredriver #sacredland #nativewisdom #makeyourvoicebeheard #allonepeople #pacefullprotest #thoughtsbeforeactions #youmyocean #oceanforce

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International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 – Event Recap

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

San Diego, U.S –  September 17th 2016

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 YES, we did it again! We absolutely LOVE this time of the year, when people in many countries around the world gather up to show their love for our oceans and beaches by cleaning up their local river and ocean shores.

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The collective effort formally known as “International Coastal Cleanup Day” was first organized by The Ocean Conservancy in 1986. Since then, the celebration has brought together hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world and removed thousands of pounds of thrash and debris from the ocean floor. We are proud to say that this continues to be one of the largest global cleanup efforts and we are happy to be a part of it.

For the last four years Oceanforce is been able to mobilize local volunteers in San Diego, U.S as part of our Sweetwater Marsh Restoration and Preservation Project in the city of Chula Vista. The community has totally embraced the date and taken the restoration of our Marsh very seriously.

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On Saturday September 17th what started as a gloomy end of Summer morning quickly turned into another beautifully sun glazed California Day. After an introductory and safety talk Captain Alfonso Lopez made a short presentation about micro plastics and “expressed our need to pay more attention to those small bits and pieces of plastic littering the shore.” It is also in the small plastic particles which are hard for the eye to see, where the real threat lays. As hard as it is to hear it, it is that which you don’t see, what will kill you.

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With more than 50 volunteers representing Castle Park High School, Muller Elementary School, our local Cub and Girl Scouts, as well as community members and friends, we parted ourselves in four groups before carefully heading out into the Marsh scouting for anything inorganic. Knowing that the Sweetwater Marsh has come a long way from where we started five years ago, and after the introductory briefing, the volunteers knew what to look for. Some big pieces of trash and derelict items were bound to be found and brought back; but there was a great need to look closer and remove all the small plastics. Micro plastics that is.

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In the almost four hours of work that we all put into our Marsh cleanup we collected more than one thousand pounds of trash. Much of it single use plastics, marine debris, shopping carts and anything in between. Several repurposed glass bottles were filled with micro plastics. Some of these become real samples we use when talking to anyone about the global plastic issue. By noon, our volunteers had picked up enough trash to make three short bus runs to dispose of it. That resulted in more than 2 (3 cubic yards) trash bins being completely full of trash that had just been removed from this National Wildlife Refuge. Lets point out that much of these plastics are in an already state of degradation and/or are too dirty to be processed and recycled in our city, which inhabitable makes most of what could be recycled become trash.

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Zach, Emily, Robert and Rita were some of our Team Captains who kept track of all items collected during the cleanup and were also keeping in touch via radio with our base camp. Our volunteers maintained open radio communication with the Site Captains who guided them through some of their weird finds, and answered questions that came up during their work. We strive to have this type of coordination as it makes our work more effective and safer for everyone. We try as much as we can to use buckets to pick up our trash and not buy plastics bags for that purpose. We do have a stack of old plastic bags that we continue to use only when we run out of buckets for all of the volunteers.

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This time around it was special for us as we kicked off our Mobile Science Lab as a part of our cleanup! With this being our first Oceanforce Mobile Lab stop we had 3 (borrowed) microscopes where students could take a closer look at some of the micro plastics as they started to arrive through out the morning. With professional adult supervision the students were able to look at different kinds of photo degrading plastics, fivers, etc which is almost impossible for the naked human eye alone. As seen through a microscope, these plastics freshly picked up from the Marsh can quickly open anyone’s eyes to the issue of plastics in the oceans as well as in our own bodies. Our mobile lab was the perfect scenario for our friend ND Michelle Sexton to take the lead and give a talk and presentation about types of plastics, recycling denominations, micro plastics in the food chain, and their direct effect in our health.

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International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 was a total blast and everyone involved had a great time. A big THANKS to our friends over at Cheba Hut who totally rocked the day with their naturally delicious sandwiches and cereal snacks. Some of our members also brought coffee, fruit, cereal bars and pastries to share. Another big THANKS goes to Seven Mile Casino for allowing us to use their trash bins.

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Our friends over at I Love a Clean San Diego have been spearheading the efforts in Southern California to help organizations like ours join in and be a part of this global movement for several years now. Thanks to their leadership, Oceanforce Foundation has been able to adhere to the celebration and help extend its outreach and mission much further and into some communities in great need of this type of work. Such is the case of Oceanforce Foundation bringing International Coastal Cleanup Day in previous years to cities like, Acapulco, Bonfil and Puerto Escondido in Mexico, as well as Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

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Lets not forget that over the years we have also been lucky enough to receive some kind support from companies like Patagonia, Dixieline, Home Depot, Seven Mile Casino and MGBW to help restore the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

To all of you, THANKS!

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International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 – A Human Race Against Micro Plastics

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

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YES. Its that time of the year again and we are gearing up to celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 on Saturday September 17th.

OCEANFORCE FOUNDATION IS CALLING THIS “A HUMAN RACE AGAINST MICRO PLASTICS.”

In the USA, our Southern California cleanup location will be in San Diego, at the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge at the bottom of the Big Bay. This area is been the center of our Restoration and Preservation Project for the last three years. Altho it is much more cleaner now than it was in the last 20+ years, there is still a lot of work to do before it can be healthy pristine again. The Sweetwater Marsh is home to a large community of local and migratory wildlife year round, and it is considered to be one of the last undeveloped marshlands left in the West Coast of the United States.

We will be adding more detailed information on all of our Oceanforce Foundation’s international locations closer to the date and as it becomes available on our website www.oceanforce.org

The Ocean Conservancy has also more info on the rest of the international locations @ http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/2016-ocean-trash-index.html

In California also visit www.cleanupday.org 

#PROTECTWHATYOULOVE

 

 

 

 

 

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Oceanforce’s SCUBA DIVE CLEANUP – Operation Clean Sweep 2016

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

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Oceanforce Foundation in conjunction with partners San Diego Port Tenant’s Association and the Port of San Diego joined forces to help heal our beloved San Diego Bay by hosting another Operation Clean Sweep.

La Fundación Fuerza Oceánica en conjunto con el Puerto de San Diego unieron fuerzas para ayudar a mejorar la salud de nuestra Bahia de San Diego realizando otra jornada denominada “Operación de Limpieza.”

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Community members representing different sectors showed up early morning at our Driscoll Wharf location this last Saturday, August 27th . Point Loma/Shelter Island neighbors, AMEC Foster employees, NAVY and U.S. Coast Guard Divers were all too eager to grab buckets and scan the rip rap zone for plastic bits of trash and anything they could find polluting our Bay waters.

Miembros de la comunidad representando diferentes sectores se dieron cita temprano por la mañana del Sábado 27 de Agosto en el muelle Driscoll. Vecinos del area de Point Loma, trabajadores de AMEC Foster y buzos tácticos del NAVY y la Guardia Costera de U.S.A. trabajaron juntando basura y plásticos en la zona de rocas y bajo el agua. Juntando todo lo que pudieran encontrar.

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It is always amazing and uplifting to see how motivated our volunteers are to get out and start picking up trash. Our SCUBA divers were in the water by 7am! They searched hard enough (not really..) to find anything from a bicycle, car batteries, a toilet, propellers, shopping carts, plastic piping, and all sorts of plastics that were hard to recognize what they belonged to. Our friends over ad EDCO facilitated a low profile roll off dumpster where all of this trash was deposited to be carried away. Lets remember that “sadly” most plastics that are not clean will not be recycled when they get to the recycling facility. Therefore, most of the plastics we picked from under water and the rip rap zone had to go to the dump.

Es maravilloso ver que tan motivados están nuestros voluntarios en comenzar a recoger basura. Nuestros buzos de SCUBA estaban en el agua a las 7AM! Sin buscar muy lejos encontraron artículos tales como una bicicleta, baterías de automobiles, un toilet, elices, un carro de supermercado, tubos de plastico y todo tipo de plasticos casi irreconocibles. Nuestros amigos de EDCO (compañía de recolección de residuos) facilito un contenedor de perfil bajo donde todos estos desechos fueron depositados para su posterior procesamiento. Recordemos que “tristemente” los plásticos que no están limpios no son aceptados en las plantas de reciclado de plasticos. Por tal razón la mayoría de los plásticos recuperados han debido de ir el basurero.

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This reminds us of the importance of catching these plastics at the beginning of their travel – in the street. Anything and everything we see in our streets will inevitably in our ocean via our storm drain system. We must pick up any plastics we see in the streets before they are out of sight and headed for the beach underground inside a pipe. Better yet, the idea is that we change our consumer habits and commence to utilize less and less plastic in our every day lives. Anything from plastic bags, to plastic bottles and plastic packaging can either be avoided or reduced. It is up to us to make a change.

Esto nos recuerda de la importancia de recuperar (o juntar) estos plásticos al principio de su viaje – en la calle. Lo que sea que vemos en las calles de nuestra ciudad inevitablemente terminara en nuestro océano luego de viajar por el sistema de drenaje de agua de lluvia. Debemos recoger cualquier tipo de plásticos o envoltorios que vemos en las calles antes de que estén fuera de nuestra vista y viajando ya hacia nuestras playas a través de un sistema de tuberías para agua de lluvia. Mejor aun, la idea es que logremos cambiar nuestros habitos de consumo y comencemos a utilizar menos plástico en nuestras vidas. Desde bolsas a botellas de plástico, a paquetes de plástico, etc pueden ser evitados si pensamos y tomamos mejores decisiones. Queda en nosotros crear un cambio. 

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These “land and water” cleanups are an amazing way of coming together for the common good. An excellent way to give back and show how we care; BUT they are nowhere near ideal. We can not relay in our local regulations, our city officials, or our community organizations to clean up our mess. We at Oceanforce Foundation invite you to think differently and make a change starting at home – consume less, think before you buy and if you see it (trash) pick it up.

Estas limpiezas en “tierra y agua” son una excelente forma de unirnos por el bien comun. Una excelente manera de retribuir y mostrar que tanto nos importa nuestro medio ambiente, PERO estas limpiezas no son un escenario ideal y están lejos de serlo. No podemos ya depender de las leyes locales, de nuestros gobernantes, o de ciertas organizaciones para que limpien nuestra suciedad. La Fundación Fuerza Oceánica los invita a pensar diferentemente y a generar un cambio comenzando en nuestros hogares – consumamos menos, pensemos bien antes de comprar, y si vemos basura en la calle juntémosla. 

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Thanks to all of the amazing volunteers who worked hard during this years Operation Clean Sweep, now in it’s 20th consecutive year! Thanks to our partners the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the Port of San Diego, EDCO, San Diego Mooring Company, Indosole, Hodad’s OB and Squeegee Prints for their support in our quest to creating a healthier San Diego for everyone.

Gracias a todos los maravillosos voluntarios quienes trabajaron arduamente durante esta “Operación de Limpieza” la cual ha sido realizada consecutivamente por los últimos 20 años! Gracias a nuestros auspiciantes por hacer posible nuestro trabajo de conservación del océano en San Diego. 

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Ahava and Oceanforce Eco Surf Camp in Mexico

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

 

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Happy Spring to each and everyone of you following us through this blog (it’s Spring up on these latitudes). As we prepare for a pretty busy Summer in Southern California we feel so lucky to also being able to continue our work in other regions – where help is most needed. Such is the case of our loved state of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. Since the year 2007 Oceanforce Foundation has worked with different coastal communities in Mexico bringing awareness, conserving endangered coastal habitats and leading direct action work in places like Tijuana, Acapulco and Puerto Escondido.

The year 2016 will see Oceanforce go a bit further and reach the port city of Salina Cruz. Salina Cruz is known as the last big city before you enter the state of Chiapas; bordering Guatemala in Central America. The city its also known for its active port, the oil and marine industries, as well as for its world class waves and all the tourism around them. Wait, did I just say waves? YES – some of the best right point breaks cane be found here. Specially during the summer months.

This time around Oceanforce Foundation will be partnering with Ahava Surf Project. Ahava Surf Project is a program run by our friend Carlos “Coco” Nogales. A big wave Surfer born and raised in Mexico who not only travels the world in search of some of the biggest waves on this planet but who is also very keen to giving back and helping children in need. His project is specifically designed to help kids from coastal communities stay strong and grounded through discovering the sport of surfing. At the end of May 2016 (27-29th) Ahava Surf Project and Oceanforce Foundation will be hosting their first joined Surf Camp! This time the surf camp will be extra special as Oceanforce Foundation will be bringing the environmental component to this three day Surf-Camp-Fiesta!

Kids between ages 9-16 years of age will have the opportunity to hear Coco’s surfing life changing story up close and to learn how to surf from the “Puerto Master” himself. Kids will also have the opportunity to learn basic but fundamental concepts of ecology and ocean conservation along the way. For such task Oceanforce President – Captain Alfonso Lopez will be joining in the camp, sharing his story of ocean conservation in America and working with the 35+ kids already signed up to be a part of this amazing surf camp. Topics such as marine debris, ocean Gyres, microplastics, over fishing and conservation of our natural resources will be alternated between beach cleanups and educational games to make this a truly holistic ocean experience for everyone.

NOTE TO ALL: THE FUTURE OF OUR PLANET RESTS IN THE HANDS OF THE CHILDREN OF TODAY!

Bellow is a video for one of the previous Ahava camps which illustrates beautifully Coco’s labor of love and the huge positive impact it has on these kids.

Los dejamos con un video del pasado Ahava Surf Camp el cual ilustra de manera hermosa la gran labor de amor de nuestro amigo Coco así como el impacto positivo que genera en estos niños.

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Feliz primavera para todos ustedes quienes nos siguen a través de nuestro blog. Es primavera aquí en estas latitudes. Mientras nos preparamos para un Verano lleno de acción aquí en el Sur de California también nos sentimos muy agraciados de poder continuar nuestro trabajo en otras regiones – donde nuestro apoyo es mas necesitado. Tal es el caso de nuestro amado estado de Oaxaca, en el Sur de Mexico. Desde el año 2007 Oceanforce ha estado trabajando en diferentes comunidades costeras generando conciencia, protegiendo hábitats salvajes y liderando trabajos de conservación directa y limpieza de playas en ciudades como Tijuana, Acapulco y Puerto Escondido.

Este año 2016 Oceanforce llega aun mas al sur asta la ciudad de Salina Cruz. Salina Cruz es la ciudad mas al Sur del estado de Oaxaca y es la ultima ciudad en la frontera con el Estado de Chiapas la cual es frontera con Guatemala en Cetro America. La ciudad es muy conocida por su puerto pesquero, por su industria petrolera y marítima y por sus olas de calidad mundial a lo largo de su costa. Que, dije olas? SI – algunas de las mejores derechas del mundo pueden encontrarse aquí. Especialmente en los meses de verano.

En este oportunidad Oceanforce estará uniendo fuerzas con Ahava Surf Project. Ahava Surf Project es un programa creado y dirigido por nuestro amigo Carlos “Coco” Nogales. Un surfista de olas grandes nacido y criado en Mexico, quien no solo viaja al rededor del planeta en busca de olas grandes pero a quien también le gusta compartir lo bueno de su estilo de vida y así ayudar a niños quienes lo necesitan. Su proyecto esta específicamente diseñado para ayudar a niños de las comunidades costeras a mantenerse fuertes y sanos, a través de descubrir y practicar Surf. Al final de Mayo (27-29) Ahava Surf Project y Oceanforce Foundation estarán realizando el primer Campamento de Surf en conjunto! Esta vez el Surf Camp será mucho mas especial ya que Oceanforce estará aportando el componente de medio ambiente a este Campamento-Surf-Fiesta!

Niños de entre 9-16 años tendrán la oportunidad de escuchar en persona la historia de como el Surfing cambio la vida de Coco y aprender Surfing con este “Maestro de las olas de Puerto.” Los Niños también tendrán la oportunidad de aprender conceptos básicos pero fundamentales sobre ecología y conservación del medio ambiente. Para esta tarea nuestro Presidente – Capitán Alfonso Lopez se une al equipo de trabajo para compartir su historia de conservación de los océanos en America junto a los mas de 35 niños quienes asistirán a este maravilloso seminario de Surf. Temas tales como basura marina, micro-plasticos, sobre pesca y conservación de recursos naturales serán algunos de las lecciones que se alternaran entre limpiezas de playa, clases de Surf y juegos educativos para así crear una experiencia comprensiva en torno al océano que todos podamos compartir.

TOMAR NOTA: EL FUTURO DE NUESTRO PLANETA DESCANSA EN LAS MANOS DE LOS NIñOS DE HOY.

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You My Ocean – an ocean conservancy expedition of the Americas in 2016

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

“Our vision is to unite all people to care for and to protect our world’s oceans to create a better future for our world. Realizing we belong to the oceans and the oceans belong to us would greatly change the way we think and act, thus minimizing the impact we have on our planet. It is time to awaken our sense of connection and forge a close relationship to the oceans. Only by caring for and protecting our oceans will future generations create a healthy planet in which to live” – Said CAPT Alfonso López, Founder and President of Oceanforce Foundation.

The 36 year old Argentina native is been at the forefront of the small start up non profit organization since its inception in the year 2009. He is also getting ready to lead a selected crew of sailors and ocean activists in the expedition they call “You My ocean – an ocean conservancy expedition of the Americas” 

“This is a great opportunity to bring together an array of skills that are simply natural to us as a group. We breathe the ocean day in and day out through our addiction to water sports and ocean exploration. We were born by the water and our families have struggled to make a livelihood from the ocean. We feel very identified with and care enormously for those coastal communities that are the most affected by today’s ocean decline and are the ones needing the most help. We have learned and are now more capable than ever to bridging those cultural barriers and solving problems by offering tangible solutions that anyone can be a part of.”  

Please take a few minutes to watch a demo reel which explains in detail all the aspects of this exciting expedition.

Oceanforce Foundation has a dedicated website for our ocean conservancy sailing expedition. Please visit http://www.youmyocean.com/ for all the details and how to get involved!

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