In The Beginning There Was Plastic In 2016 Ocean Ambassador Brent Allen began a grassroots movement to protect Monterey Bay using a simple sticker. “I set up a meeting with a couple of friends, James DeLeon and Shawn Adams, to create a sticker to hand out to coastal communities surrounding Monterey Bay. JD…
P.O. Box 30574 Edmond, OK 73003
My mission is to connect people with nature through stand up paddle and other outdoor sports while educating them on the current issues that are polluting our waterways and oceans.
This advocacy is collaborative in design, too build a much larger cultural synergy of youth and adults to problem solve environmental issues in all types of liquid settings inland and Ocean.
The foundation is empowering the next generation through mentorship and the core is indigenous wisdom of stewardship. I was provided my Cherokee Name in 2023 from an elder in the tribe : Ama-Uk-sas-dee which means water protector .
In 2020 after moving back to my home state of Oklahoma I joined the team at
www.riversportokc.org as the Lifestyle Director. I could not believe the amount of single use styrofoam and plastics that filled the circumference of the Oklahoma River. The Oklahoma River is the training waters and race location designated as a US Olympic training site for rowing and canoe/kayak.
I actually started doing river clean ups at the Oklahoma River prior to having a job at RiverSport. There is no getting around leading by example in cleaning up our waterways. The stark realization that our rivers connect to the Gulf of Mexico and 80% of trash in the ocean is coming from an inland source is a reality of ocean advocacy. My background from Ocean Advocacy with small coastal communities on the Pacific Ocean to Oklahoma City the 20th largest city in the country has required a new level of complexities to solve.
My ancestry is Cherokee and most people wouldn’t know that 39 native american sovereign nations are based in Oklahoma .Stewardship has become a natural part of my purpose driven life.
This initiative has elevated the process of collaboration and education about sustainability and started to address the single use plastics/styrofoam issue in Oklahoma County. We have been using the litterati app. to build a database of the trash removed. We have removed over an estimated 200,000 pieces of trash from 2020 to 2023 from the waterways of Oklahoma City. This work and data collection is a direct result of our community businesses, youth groups, area non-profits that have participated. (Especially OKC beautiful).
This initiative was created for riversport okc a 501c3 . This is a great step forward on
stewardship in our states largest city. I am no longer at riversport and now have the freedom to truly do the next level of work required to truly improve our City and States sustainable practices. I am currently building a stronger group of resources in the community and state. The most important step forward will be with the 39 tribes of Oklahoma which embody a cross section of First American’s that where removed from there original lands and placed in Indian Territory later to become the 46th state called Oklahoma. We are structuring more educational programs for youth on our local environmental issues built around the outdoor lifestyle and kicking off more speaking engagements in the community. In 2021 We will be organizing more water based cleanups from stand up paddle and kayak at our 3 separate locations in Oklahoma City, Lake Overholser, and Lake Hefner.
Protect Monterey Bay is a non-profit 501c3 committed to establishing the first ever California Marine Sanctuary in the Monterey Bay. This initiative began in 2016 with my idea of creating a simple sticker (Protect Monterey Bay) designed by surf industry artist James Deleon and printed by Shawn Adams owner of Santa Cruz-Monterey Signs. I told JD and Shawn I have an idea that is purely altruistic NO MONEY. They said awesome let’s do it. I passed these stickers out in all the coastal communities surrounding the Monterey Bay consistently over four years.
The general call to action was based around the number of single-use plastics flowing into the Monterey Bay as a direct result of over tourism in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. This kick-off was simply from me noticing and picking up trash from the kelp beds during paddle-board sessions in the Carmel and Monterey Bays.
I encountered a large pod of humpback whales in September 2014 while paddle boarding which changed me forever. I had a humpback whale spy hop about 25 yards away and looked me in the eyes at the big wave location called Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach , CA.
I created the first SUP ocean clean up of the kelp beds in whalers cove and bluefish cove at Point Lobos State Reserve (Central California) in collaboration with the Monterey Surfrider Chapter August 2015.These SUP ocean clean ups evolved to above and (Scuba/Free-dive) below the surface ocean clean ups at the Point Lobos State Reserve one of the most iconic coastal California State Parks. Each clean upI would invite
Later came the growth of doing more Stand Up Paddle clean ups in the rivers that flow into the Monterey Bay and Carmel Bay.
The final straw began in 2017 with the escalation of the cruise ship industry coming into the Monterey Bay and anchoring off the small coastal community of Monterey, CA. Yes – This is a National Marine Sanctuary , but the protections provided do nothing with these massive polluters. This non-profit is designed around local authentic business persons in the community that want to problem-solve our issues and empower the next generation of youth to do the same.
In 2020 the pandemic effectively shut down the cruise ship industry in global proportions which meant no cruise-ships in the Monterey Bay. In 2023 the cruise-ship industry was scheduled to return to Monterey ,CA. There has been a mind bending amount of due diligence over many years to disseminate the solutions and bring an honest assessment.
The City of Monterey elected a new Mayor in 2022 Tyller Williamson and in 2023 the Monterey City Council Voted to stop offering city services to cruise-ships. Just Say No is the solution. This win for the ocean should be a ripple effect to other small coastal destinations to follow this example. We are seeing more unique coastal cities say no more to the cruise-ship industry or a major reduction in vessels such as: Venice, Italy – Houston, TX – Charleston, SC – Bora Bora , Tahiti – Amsterdam and the list is growing in 2023.
Lets now create the first State of California Marina Sanctuary in the Monterey Bay. We have to be bold in protecting ocean environments like never before.
Vigilance and forward thinking required.