Beach cleaning benefit on Sunday

04/03/2014

In 1987, Hallie Austen Iglehart was horrified to read an article in the Light about the massive impact human trash has on sea creatures: up to one million seabirds and another 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year from ingesting plastic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium estimates. In response, she started doing her part to pick up trash at Limantour Beach, the closest waterfront to her old home in Inverness Park. “I started picking up trash whenever I went there and tried to figure out how to get other people to pick up trash with me,” she said. The trash on the beach may not be yours, but it does affect your environment, the animals and your health, she said. Ms. Iglehart has expanded her one-person operation to include volunteers across the Bay Area and even to the other side of the Pacific with her nonprofit All One Ocean. Since 2011, the organization has installed cleanup stations—small, wooden boxes containing educational signage, children’s art and repurposed coffee bean bags for collecting trash—at 11 beaches, including at the youth hostel and Drakes Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore and even two in Hawaii. This weekend, a fundraiser is being held at the Dance Palace on Sunday, April 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will not only help fund more stations and educational outreach to schools, Ms. Iglehart said, but also celebrate the community that inspired her first beach cleanup and piloted the first station at Limantour. The zero-waste event—bring your own glasses—will feature drummers, including Barbara Borden; folk artist and fiddler Lucia Comnes; singer Sofi Rox; and poet Kim Rosen. Ocean-themed art will also be on display: paintings by Shirley Salzman and Sue Gonzales; pastels of the ocean by Nancy Stein; found plastic from Kehoe Beach curated by Richard and Judith Selby Lang; kelp art by Lina Jane Prairie and Alex MacLean; and “oddities and deities” by Nonnie Welch. “Everybody knows, to some degree or other, the environmental crisis that we’re in. But sometimes when we’re overwhelmed we can shut down and feel helpless,” Ms. Iglehart said. “You can make a difference. It’s really simple: beachcombing for trash and helping the ocean.” Tickets are $20 at the door, or $15 for students and seniors.