Today’s post comes from ILACSD Environmental Educator, Alex Mullen-Ley.
It’s hard to imagine that there are children here in San Diego who have never been to the beach before. Many of us take for granted that when it gets hot outside, everyone heads to the coast. One of I Love A Clean San Diego’s upcoming educational programs is giving underserved youth the chance to visit the beach for the very first time.
On June 7th, as part of the 19th annual Kids’ Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup, ILACSD is coordinating nearly 900 students from eight Title I schools to help clean up the beach and make a visual statement in the sand about their concern for the future of the oceans. This is the third year that ILACSD will be holding the event at Crown Point Shores, and the ninth year that we have acted as the regional coordinators.
The annual event started in Los Angeles in 1994 by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and the California Coastal Commission. The original goals of the program were to increase public awareness of ocean issues and to connect children to the marine environment. Over the past 18 years, the event’s range has expanded to include 7 cities along the California coast.
During the month of May, ILACSD’s educators will visit each school to give the students a presentation about the importance of minimizing our impact on the marine environment and to get them excited to participate in the aerial art project. We will meet them again at the beach on June 7th. At last year’s event we had almost 200 students attend who experienced the beach for the first time, and we expect to have a similar number this year. The theme for this year’s Kids’ Ocean Day is “Defend the Sea.” We are keeping the aerial art design a secret for now, but we can say that it will be an exciting first in the program’s history!
We are still looking for adult volunteers to help with the event from 8:00am to 1:00pm. If you are interested in signing up to volunteer, please contact Jemma De Leon at firstname.lastname@example.org.