Malibu awards grant to Sea Save Foundation and its global crusades against plastic pollution

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The organization is committed to addressing the urgent issue of plastic pollution in the oceans

Plastic pollution is not just a local problem; it’s a global crisis that demands collaborative solutions. The Malibu City Council has taken steps by banning single-use plastic and bioplastic straws, stirrers, and cutlery in local retail stores and restaurants. However, the issue transcends local boundaries, as plastics and microplastics from afar infiltrate our pristine beaches and the seafood we consume.

The Sea Save Foundation, a passionate nonprofit advocate for ocean conservation, received a $5,000 grant from the City of Malibu’s General Fund for the 2023–24 fiscal year, to address the urgent issue of plastic pollution in the oceans and its profound impact on the Malibu community.

Malibu’s General Fund Grant Program provides funding to nonprofit organizations located within the City of Malibu that benefit community residents.

The foundation focuses on raising awareness of marine ecosystems and the challenges they face by sending a weekly email to over 30,000 readers summarizing headline-making ocean news from around the world called Ocean Week in Review.

Sea Save Foundation Director Georgienne Bradley was enthusiastic about this donation.

“I’m thrilled to have the support of my community in Malibu, renowned for its stunning surf, beaches, and marine environment,” Bradley said in a press release. “It’s wonderful to see that others also recognize the importance of international collaboration to safeguard these precious resources. While beach cleanups are valuable, we must address issues at their root if we want to truly make a difference and reverse the tide of environmental challenges.”

According to the foundation, the prudent use of funds will bolster its advocacy efforts, safeguarding Malibu’s beaches and the health of its residents from the insidious effects of plastic pollution. Its team’s expertise and active engagement in global initiatives position them as invaluable contributors to addressing this critical issue. 

Mayor for the City of Malibu Bruce Silverstein said as a member of the committee that reviewed the grant applications, he made the recommendation to the City Council this past year. 

“I was pleased to recommend a General Fund Grant Award to the Sea Save Foundation,” Silverstein said in an email to The Malibu Times. “Sea Save was founded by a member of the Malibu community, is committed to the health of our oceans, which are critically important to us all, and particularly important to Malibu residents who are privileged to live in a coastal village that spans 21 miles of the Southern California coastline. I wish that we had been able to make a larger grant to the Sea Save Foundation, but we are blessed with so many worthy local causes that we needed to be judicious in the amount of grants to award.”

The foundation says it also collaborates with the United Nations and other global organizations to achieve policy changes that protect the oceans. Its delegates participate in United Nations conferences such as Sustainable Development Goals Life Underwater and the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). During these conferences, the Sea Save Foundation works with United Nations member nations to set ambitious goals to protect oceans worldwide. They blend science, economics, and a strong understanding of local culture to mold proposed solutions for government leaders worldwide. 

A recent exciting achievement was the protection of entire families of sharks and rays — all requiem sharks, guitarfishes, and hammerhead sharks — at the 2022 Conference of the Parties to CITES. 

“This was a huge win to begin countering declines of 70 percent in shark populations over the past 50 years,” according to the press release. “It is the first time ever that an entire family of sharks has been added to Appendix II, which is an international agreement between countries aiming to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of the species listed in it. By listing an entire family of sharks with trade protections, a loophole is closed whereby listed species could be illegally traded as a lookalike, unlisted ones.”

“Those of us who call Malibu home can appreciate the beauty and awe of the ocean every day, but the ocean is more than beautiful,” Bradley said. “It’s fundamentally important for human survival, and these funds will be used to advance public policy to protect it.”

To learn more about the Sea Save Foundation, visit www.seasave.org