This week's Heal the Bay Hero honor goes to Brandon Boyd, lead singer of the band Incubus, and their Make Yourself Foundation. Heal the Bay recently received a grant from the Make Yourself Foundation to battle marine debris, and Brandon visited Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium yesterday to discuss ocean protection and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of our facility. Here are a few things Brandon had to say about the ocean and how to protect what you love:
Q: Why is the ocean important to you?
A: The ocean has been a huge part of my life, my upbringing - the beach was essentially my babysitter. My fascination began before I started surfing; I loved to explore the cornucopia of sights and smells of tide pools. When I began surfing I started to notice there were times when I couldn’t go in the water because of pollution, my friends and I would get really sick, cuts would get badly infected, this deepened our interest in what was going on. It occurred to me that this thing we were playing in and around, borrowing and taking from, wasn't this invincible, inexhaustible resource. It needs us.
The ocean provided so much fun and so much spirited adventure and exercise and communion with nature. It's the least I can do to inform myself as to what's going on and try to inform other people of its potential fragility.
Q: Why should we care about the health of the ocean?
A: It’s strange to treat a place where you get most of your sustenance and enjoyment and your spirit from, like a toilet. There’s a general lack of consciousness about it. We see it as so big and so vast there no way we could damage it. We already have put a dent in it... it will not be sustainable to the life we know much longer, it truly needs our attention and everyone needs to educate themselves about it.
Q: How can we help?
A: There’s so much people can do to help. Start with the little things. Throw away your cigarette butts, they are the main source of beach trash. It’s incredible to see - walk along the beach after a storm along the high tide line and instead of seeing shells, it's cigarette butts and plastic debris. I see it and it hurts, we're hurting ourselves.
Minimize your use of plastic. Every little bit counts.
Dispose of your motor oil properly, do not put it in the stormdrain, stormdrains go straight into the water.
Get a really snazzy reusable bag, you look really cool, and you'll feel good as well!
Something that everyone can do if you live in beach communities is organize a beach cleanup, it's a lot of fun to hang out with your friends and neighbors, and you’re walking on the beach picking up trash and plastic debris along the way. I encourage any and all of you to... make a habit of it. It’s beautiful. It makes you feel good. [There’s one this Saturday!]
Q: Tell us about the Make Yourself Foundation’s choice to work with Heal the Bay?
A: Incubus grew up around here, we grew up enjoying the ocean, we grew up together surfing, and we starting doing work with Heal the Bay because it felt great, felt like the right thing to do. We loved the idea that [Heal the Bay] felt as strongly as we did about these things. It gets more and more dire every day, this situation with keeping our oceans clean, and raising the consciousness around pollution needs to be continually talked about, its importance will never go away.
Thank you Brandon and the Make Yourself Foundation for supporting our work to combat marine debris and for spending the time to get to know our aquarium! Heal the Bay is honored to work by your side to keep our coastal waters, safe, healthy and clean for everyone to enjoy for generations to come.