"The ocean has always been a significant part of my life. When I was three, my family and I moved from San Jose to Carmel. I was raised at the beach, it really has been my home. In pre-school, I would walk down to the beach at lunch, and picnic with my friends. In kindergarden, I would go boogie boarding everyday after school with my dad and brother. For years every Friday night a group of friends, who I would consider my family, would have bonfires and stay-up sharing memories and making new ones. My passion for the ocean grew so strong I could not resist the spell that had been cast upon me. From kayaking, SUP, body surfing, free diving and scuba diving to simply spending time with friends in the salty water, every moment changed me. My greatest experiences like swimming in a pod of wild dolphins, and harvesting tide pool creatures and roasting them over a fire of driftwood with friends, has made me realize what a truly incredible world we live in. The ocean is where I feel most at home and I simply love it. As Jaques Cousteau puts it, 'People protect what they love.' It's as simple as that." -Alex Weber
"Nature has been my safe place for longer than I can remember. Growing up in Canada, I learned to respect nature as much as I learned to respect people and going to a school located in the middle of a forest made me attached to the outdoors. During the weekends my friends and I spent all of our time adventuring, either on a horse or an ATV, the forest behind the house. Building tree forts and small houses we almost decided to live out there. When I moved from Canada in seventh grade I thought that I would never to be able to experience nature like that again. However, as soon as I entered the salt water I was hooked. From that day on I have spent so much time in the ocean doing all sorts of fun stuff that only nature can provide; free diving, body surfing, boogie boarding, surfing, jumping off the rocks… the list goes on and on. During the summers and breaks backpacking trips and playing in the ocean has strengthened my connection with nature. It is clear to me that we need to protect our oceans for so many different reasons." - Jack JohnstonJack and Alex met at the start of 8th grade when Jack started attending Carmel Middle School. After seeing each other at the beach many times, they discovered their shared passion for the outdoors. From then on, together they spent all their free time exploring the mountains of Big Sur and the coastlines near Carmel. Through the years, both their friendship and love for the environment grew. In the spring of 2016 they came across a shocking discovery. They found thousand of golf balls in the ocean off Pebble Beach. After doing more research they found out how environmentally harmful golf balls can be, particularly since it is estimated that over 300 million golf balls are lost annually in the US alone.
Essentially, the discovery of golf balls in the ocean spurred their environmental activism and drove them to create their Non-Profit, "The Plastic Pick-Up." With the Action Council as their fiscal sponsor, they are able to accept tax-deductible donations to continue their work raising awareness. For more information on the golf ball project, check out "The Golf Ball Project" page above.