More than 4,000 Los Angeles students, teachers and volunteers took part in the 23rd annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up May 19 at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey.
The kids cleaned the beach and formed aerial art. Students from all over L.A. formed their own individual ocean bubbles to highlight the diversity of our ocean and the need for every individual to join together to keep it clean. One student, Amin Biya, a fifth grader at Crescent Heights Elementary School, was honored for his poem “The Ocean… What a Motion!,” which won a citywide poetry contest for the event.
The day’s activities began with a program kick-off involving City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Commissioner Monica Rodriguez; LA Sanitation Executive Director Enrique Zaldivar; California Coastal Commissioner Wendy Mitchell; Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and Kids Ocean Day Founder and Executive Director Michael Klubock; and Amin Biya, who created the winning poem. Students picked up trash in a massive beach cleanup before forming the aerial art mosaic.
“We play a crucial role in educating our children on the importance of protecting our environment,” says Board of Public Works Vice President Monica Rodriguez. “Through this experience with Kids Ocean Day, we are helping to shape positive habits early on in life that will ensure our beaches, oceans and all waterways stay clean for their generation and future ones.”
Kids Ocean Day is an environmentally sensitive event that incorporates composting, recycling and an overall reduction of non-biodegradable materials. The City of LA helped facilitate the recycling and composting of all beach debris and lunch refuse. Kids Ocean Day supporters, Waste Management and Whole Foods, contributied to the sustainability efforts.
“Kids Ocean Day reminds us that all water is One Water, and it needs to be free of trash and pollutants,” L.A. Sanitation’s Director Enrique C. Zaldivar said. “We are proud to stand beside LA’s kids on Kids Ocean Day and show our support towards creating a city that captures, conserves and reuses all sources of water.”
Kids Ocean Day is the culmination of a year-round school assembly program by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education to teach Los Angeles school kids about the adverse impacts of pollution to the ocean. Amin Biya, from Crescent Heights Elementary School, knows how important it is to protect our coastline. His poem, “The Ocean… What a Motion!” speaks about his dream of a pollution-free ocean.
The Los Angeles celebration of Kids Ocean Day is one of six in the state of California, sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. More than 8,000 kids are expected to participate in Kids Ocean Day statewide.
“These students are reflecting the hope that we are on the verge of a sea change in how we relate to the ocean and the rest of the natural world,” said Steve Kinsey, Chair of the California Coastal Commission. “Since the problems facing our ocean are caused by us – pollution, sea level rise, ocean acidification, declining fish stocks – it is up to us to find a way to address them. The kids participating today seek to inspire everyone to work together toward that end.” The Coastal Commission coordinates the program statewide and provides financial support from the Whale Tail License Plate Fund. Go to www.oceanday.net to see more aerial art.
Kids Ocean Day in Los Angeles was organized by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, California State Coastal Conservancy, the City of Los Angeles and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful.
“The Coastal Conservancy is thrilled to be able to help the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education bring children from throughout Los Angeles to the coast for the Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up. This event helps bring home the reality that each of us can make a difference, through our individual actions, to protect and preserve our beautiful coast and beaches,” Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of State Coastal Conservancy said.
“The oceans are dying and the kids know it,” says Kids Ocean Day founder and Director Michael Klubock. “Most of them already know that the trash on the street ends up in the ocean. Kids Ocean Day helps make them aware that they can have an impact. It expands their world when they learn that they can do something to protect the ocean they love.”
To learn more about Kids Ocean Day, visit www.kidsoceanday.org.