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We're recruiting an army of ocean defenders! 

Meet us at the beach for an organized beach

clean up! Help us rid the ocean and our

beautiful beaches from trash pollution. Your

hands-on effort makes all the difference! Just

bring your positive spirit and smile. Trash bags

and gloves will be provided. 

Protect and conserve our ocean by raising

awareness of the negative effects caused by

plastic pollution through environmental education

for future generations.


Reports sat that around 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed each year due to plastic ingestion. Unfortunately, several marine species are on the verge of extinction because of the such type of ocean pollution. 

Meet The 


Vicki Patterson


Vicki Patterson Stand Up To Trash

As Founder and Program Director, I'm passionately committed to the ocean. I love bringing the community together and with over 20 years of nonprofit experience, I'm excited to make a difference in the world for the next generation. 

Annabelle Miller

Vice President

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As a mermaid at heart, I have a love and gratitude for the ocean. I am an elementary educator and passionate about our youth. I believe in the power of education, and love working with Stand Up To Trash in order to inspire and educate our future generations on how to protect our Earth, and be an active part of their community. After school, you can find me on the boat dock, or a sunset walk on with my dog, Sunni. 

“Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.” -Van Morrison

Milena Rumak

Business & Strategy Advisor

Milena Rumak Stand Up To Trash

As an educated Environmental Biologist, and an experienced Project Manager with over 14 years in the financial services industry, Milena is excited to join the Stand Up To Trash team, and help make some significant waves!  


Milena is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and ScrumMaster (CSM), and committed to serving the environment (especially the ocean), she loves and enjoys so much.

When she's not working, you can find her paddle-boarding, swimming, hiking, cycling, or somewhere outdoors with her dog.

Dee Carroll

Advisory Board

Dee Carroll.heic

A committed life long sailor, Dee has seen her share of trash at sea and knows the importance to keeping it out!


She spends her free time picking up trash, giving or sailing wherever and whenever she can!

Kandi Patterson

Advisory Board


Kandi realized early on the impact people had after leaving the beach. 

Upon graduating college she decided to utilize her communications degree for the benefits of nonprofits. Upon realizing her mother was founding one so close to her heart she decided to serve as a founding member to benefit the community and ocean.


Kaeley Sterkel


Kaeley was born and raised in Dana Point and she has always had a love for the ocean and care for the environment.  She is a recent graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin getting her BS in environmental studies.  She believes that it is of the utmost importance for the community to do what they can to try and preserve the environment.  It has become her mission to do what she can to bring awareness to the impact humans have had on the beaches and what we can do to help.

Tanya Torres

Education Coordinator Advisor


Tanya Torres is currently working at California Sea Grant Extension supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Born and raised on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi , Tanya grew up with a natural connection to the ocean and land around her. Before making the move across the Pacific, Tanya spent six years volunteering and working with one of Hawaiʻi's largest local beach cleanup nonprofit organizations, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi. Her passion for clean beaches, waste reduction, and empowering communities to take action has led her to the Stand Up To Trash team! When she's not cleaning up trash, Tanya enjoys surfing, hiking, being on the water, being outdoors, cooking, and eating! 

Marcela Hudson

Advisory Board


Marcela is a nature and animal loving adventurer who believes that we all must do our part to help protect and save our oceans, so marine life has a clean place to live and we can all enjoy the beauty our only Earth has to offer. Helping to reduce single use plastics is something Marcela is passionate about. If we all take action, together we magnify a movement! 

She chose to volunteer with Stand Up To Trash because she loves the dedication of all the cool humans that feel the same way. 

When she is not taking pictures or volunteering, you can find her spending time with her fur baby Sammy or on the very beaches we are aiming to save.

Mendi Bartell

Advisory Board

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Growing up on the beaches of Florida I became a thalassophile at an early age and was taught to love, respect and protect "Mother Ocean". After recently leaving my career in technology to persue franchise ownership in Clean Juice, Inc. the only USDA Certified Organic franchise in the country,  I became a corporate advocate for sustainability within Clean Juice as I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. With reuseable cutlery available for purchase, paper to-go boxes and pushing for agave straws to replace plastic, I want to ensure Clean Juice waste doesn't end up on our local beaches harming our ocean and its wildlife. I am always happy to help educate on the importance of eating organically and how it not only has an positive impact on our bodies, but on our environment as well. 

In my spare time you can find me picking up trash while walking my rescue pups, learning how to paddleboard or relaxing with friends at one of the many amazing restaurants South OC has to offer. 

Sea Turtle


Help protect our beloved oceans and the beautiful animals that dwell in it.


Plastic is forever. Every single piece of plastic ever made still exists. 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. Every day around 8 million pieces of plastic makes their way into our oceans. Up to 80% of marine debris is plastic and comes from runoff, creating a steady stream of plastic into the ocean. In the marine environment, plastics do not biodegrade, they photo-degrade, breaking up from recognizable items of all sizes and shapes into tiny particles.


There are five gyres in the ocean. One in the Indian Ocean, two in the Atlantic Ocean, and two in the Pacific Ocean. Garbage patches of varying sizes are located in each gyre. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is a floating mass of plastic twice the size of Texas. It is located in the North Pacific Gyre (between Hawaii and California), and is the most famous. 



Production of the most common plastic, polyethylene, is on track to jump more than 40 percent by 2028 in the U.S. Fossil fuel companies such as Exxon, Mobil and Dow have invested more than $180 billion into building 17 new plastic production facilities.

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