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Teenage Diver Finds Tons Of Golf Balls Rotting Off California

harbor seal with golf balls
A curious harbor seal checks out diver Mike Weber as he and his team pick up golf balls in the waters off the coast of Northern California. Courtesy of Alex Weber
Jan 17 2019

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. . .  Then she heard about a Stanford University scientist, Matt Savoca, who studied plastic waste in the ocean. She emailed him, and he came to look at her collection.

"Fifty thousand golf balls, just sitting in the garage," she says.

Savoca was impressed. Weber recalls that he turned to her and said, " 'You should write a paper about this,' and I was like, 'Matt, I'm 16 years old. I don't know how to write a scientific paper!' "

He said he would help, which meant diving with her. Not easy. "The oceans off California are actually quite cold, so you suit up in a pretty thick wetsuit," he says. "It's incredibly physically demanding."