At the end of each year, I scroll through our contact list and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you exist. You are our friends, our supporters, our cheerleaders, and most importantly, you are our community. I think of you often, especially when I need a reminder that we are not alone as we journey through this ever-changing issue.
Many of you have supported Algalita since the beginning. You may have noticed that over the past two decades our team has remained small and nimble. We are an agile organization, experts at adapting to changing winds. We are resourceful, frugal, and wise stewards of the contributions we receive. I believe these traits combined are a recipe for sustained success, and they’re exactly what we will need to reach our vision of a world where plastic pollution is unthinkable.
2022 was a shining example of what Algalita is capable of. On a local level, our zero-waste refill shop in partnership with Bring Your Own Long Beach has been fully renovated with new fixtures and educational displays. BYO is on track to reach 80,000 product refills this year! Algalita’s beach cleanups are back in action, and we were excited to host our first large community event since the pandemic. In addition, Algalita was proud to participate in the Long Beach Green Schools Campaign that garnered LBUSD Board support this year!
On the education front, we began the year with an ambitious revisioning of our Wayfinder Program. Originally, this online platform was designed specifically for young people who wanted to take their environmental activism to the next level. Within a year, hundreds of students from over two dozen countries joined the program. Energized by the program’s success, we worked to design a brand-new Wayfinder educator platform that empowers teachers to deploy the program in their classrooms. Supplemented with teaching kits, virtual training sessions, mini-grant awards, and opportunities to connect with other educators, this new program component will provide teacher support like never before. And best of all, these services will be offered free of charge thanks to supporters like you. This year, Algalita’s programs reached over 13,000 students, 127 teachers, and 2,165 community members across the globe.
Another ambitious endeavor of 2022 was taking the first step towards developing a brand-new Plastic Pollution Research and Education Center in Long Beach, CA. In partnership with our sister organization, Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research, we are working to secure a beautiful location right next door to our refill shop. During 2023, our team will build a state-of-the-art microplastics lab, a teacher training center and classroom, a technology lab, and workspaces to support visiting scientists.
Your support encourages us to keep evolving, and to keep pushing the limits of our vision and accomplishments. We hope you continue this journey with us by donating again this year. Thank you for being an important part of our story!
With great appreciation,