It all began in 2010 when two women, Pattie and Jessie, met because of a Jack Russell Terrier. Their relationship grew around their love of dogs, and expanded when they realized a mutual affinity for the sea. Jessie soon discovered Cabrillo Whalewatch, a program of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA) and American Cetacean Society/Los Angeles Chapter (ACS/LA). After six months of training, they became certified naturalists, lecturing on whale watch excursions off the coast of Southern California.
While educating locals and tourists about the wonders of the sea, they noticed something disturbing... balloons, straws, snack bags, and more floating on the surface of their beloved ocean. When whale watch patrons asked why there was so much trash in the ocean, they took the opportunity to explain the results of littering and the dangers of balloons.
Joined by their husbands Mark and Dave, an idea took shape. Within a few months, Pattie and Mark became members of Carefree Boat Club which gave them access to boats better suited to picking up trash from the sea. Jessie and Dave hopped on board as first mates. At first, they pulled a few balloons out of the water as they searched for dolphins and whales. They jokingly referred to themselves as “Balloon Team One.” Soon, removing trash became the primary goal and they refined their skills with every trip.
Eventually, word got out in the naturalist community, and people were asking to join the fun. That's when we discovered that Dee was just as distressed by the trash as Pattie and Jessie. She watched dolphins and whales swimming through a debris field and knew she wanted to join the cause. They quipped about being “maids of the sea” and thus, La Mer Maids was born.
Now we are a group of passionate citizens determined to make the local ocean clean for its inhabitants and the people who love them.