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News and Media

News and Media

By Advisory Board Member and Volunteer Linda Nicholes

Ocean Defender’s Alliance (ODA) is busy on the first Wednesday of each month picking up pound after pound of carelessly tossed garbage (mostly plastic) at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge (SBNWR).

SBNWF Refuge sign

There is something so gratifying  about getting that evidence of human carelessness out of one of the few nature reserves in Orange County!

ODA Ocean Cleanup Crew at work

The ocean tides feed into the SBNWR wetlands, and the garbage that humans have recklessly thrown away accumulates in the wetlands (and then, thankfully, in our buckets). If we weren’t here to remove it, the trash would wash out into the coastal waters. You simply would not believe the amount of garbage / plastic that ends up soaking in the wetlands, and it feels wonderful to get as much of that harmful stuff out of the SBNWR and into our buckets and bags as possible.

Ocean conservation Crew picks up litter
Debris in wildlife sanctuary

We work hard, and we do our best to stuff as much garbage as we can into the pails that ODA provides. But we volunteers need your help, and we’d love to have you join us!

Ocean Defenders Crew with Catch of the Day

This month’s volunteers were (above, from left to right):  Kurt Lieber, Pete Markel, Karla Reinhardt, Dave and Jean Merrill, Kent Morris, Robb Hamilton (of Friends of Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach), Hannah Markel, me (Linda Nicholes), and SBNWR’s Matt Pervin.

On this day, we removed 490 pounds of rubbish from this beautiful place which included 10 large garbage bags full of various paper, plastic and miscellaneous items; a 5-gallon water bottle; other jugs; rubber mats; drywall; garbage containers; and a huge chunk of Styrofoam that – horrifically, birds were pecking away at thinking it was a food source. So glad to put that killer Styrofoam in its rightful place!

Wanna help?  Email our Outreach Coordinator Bailey at and she’ll get back to you quickly with a special SBNWR volunteer form so you can join us in the future.

See you there!

Linda Nicholes