OceanDetox.org is a Redondo
Beach, CA-based non-profit environmental organization consisting
of a diverse young group of vibrant entrepreneurs and surfers
who share in a common passion of the ocean and strive to make
June 1, 2008
DID YOU WATCH THE NEWS TODAY? What did you think about “JUNK,”
the raft composed of 15,000 plastic bottles, embarking on the
voyage from Long Beach to Hawaii? I agree… it is crazy stuff!
If you think about it, JUNK is quite literally, a piece of junk!
If each piece of junk elicited as much a reaction as JUNK does,
just imagine how much healthier our earth would be. The sad reality
of the matter is that everyday we generate enough junk to create
multiple JUNK’s. However, whether it is lack of awareness
or simply apathy, we fail to rally the commotion solicited by
And that is the whole point of JUNK – to bring awareness
to the escalating effect of junk which contributes to the treacherous
state of our environment. Here is food for thought: Did you know
that off the coast of North America, there resides a soup of plastic,
Pacific Gyre, which spans the size of Africa? Yes, that is
right. There is a whole continent of pollution infecting the top
layer of our ocean which has already begun to take a tragic toll
on our marine ecosystem.
Hello, we are two friends by the names of Josh Steiner and Bryan
Lui, and we proudly advocate the mission of combating
the hazardous effects of junk infiltration on our environment.
Being avid surfers has introduced us to a love and appreciation
for the ocean. Over the past few months, we have brainstormed
several ventures to address the heartbreaking situation of the
plastic soup. After many attempts at the drawing board, we stumbled
upon the final inspiration to launch OceanDetox.org on Wednesday,
May 28, 2008.
On this fateful day, while engaging in research mode, we ran across
the inspiring story of JUNK, which would soon provide the key
to unlock our mission. We were tired of fending off pessimistic
discouragement: “You propose a worthy, but idealistic dream.
You know though, it will take a whole lot more than three of you
to save the world...” Remind us to thank that cynical man
if we ever see him again. His comment carries 75% validity: Our
dream is worthy, and we are idealistic, and it does take a whole
lot to save the world. BUT, it only requires one nudge to set
off a domino effect.
Within minutes of discovering JUNK, we reached a consensus –
somehow, someway, we need to get our logo on that sail before
the 2pm departure on Sunday, June 1st. What more opportune launch
of OceanDetox.org than to set sail on a recycled object advocating
our very mission? Before us stood a tremendous opportunity, and
a tremendous challenge. Within a one day turnaround timeframe,
if we could find a way to design, produce, and sponsor a flag
aboard the JUNK, we could gain the visibility and publicity we
needed to bring awareness to our dream.
We labored through the night, designing a logo, defining our mission,
developing a website, and discerning our contacts. 9:00 AM, only
after two hours of sleep, we were on the way to Long Beach to
introduce ourselves and share our dreams with the creators of
JUNK. Starry-eyed, we arrived at the headquarters of Algalita
where we stumbled across our first wave of turbulence –
we managed to lock our keys in the car. Forget it, no time to
waste. After touring every corner of the wharf, we finally found
the office entrance, and to our very luck, it too was locked.
Defeat. As we stood in front of that locked door, our grand dreams
disappeared before our very eyes. Oh well, some things are not
meant to be…
In addition to discovering our recent disappointment, we learned
we would have to sulk in the parking lot for thirty minutes to
wait for car aid. After twenty minutes of feeling sorry for ourselves,
we decided to check the office one more time, just in case.
Perhaps some things are meant to be after all!
Those imprisoned keys bought us the time to bring Joel Pashal
and Nicole back to the office for last minute preparations. With
no time to waste, we dove into our proposition and won Joel, a
navigator of the voyage, over. Utilizing our resources wisely
to make a symbiotic trade, we agreed to solve their challenge
of raising funding to return the raft back to Long Beach, in exchange
for the opportunity to promote OceanDetox.org and our mission
Then we met with Dr. Marcus Eriksen, his brainchild JUNK, and
Montine Blank, a consultant for Agalita. After a round of introductions,
passion sharing, and arrangement making, we were on our way to
create two flags, one to represent OceanDetox.org and one to represent
We knew exactly who to call – Mike Hill and Craig Montgomery
of AoSA, an eco-friendly creative design and fabrication company.
A former business partner of Bryan’s, Mike became a fan
of the vision and automatically volunteered his assistance. The
flags would be printed on canvas made from recycled plastics with
eco-friendly ink. To top things off, Mike also threw in business
cards printed on recycled plastic. With their innovative equipment
and state of the art technology, AoSA produced the flags and cards
That night, over dinner, OceanDetox.org and Algalita formed a
great partnership. That night, dreams were coming to fruition.
Now, we shall watch history in the making…
Share with us…one ocean, one dream.
Josh Steiner and Bryan Lui