More than 6,000 kids across California celebrated Ocean Day by hitting the beach for the 12th Annual Kids’ Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup. Cleanups stretched from foggy San Francisco all the way down to sunny San Diego.
One thousand and fifty-nine elementary school students from San Diego and the South Bay cleaned Silver Strand Beach today, removing 296 pounds of trash and recyclables from the beautiful Coronado beach.
After the cleanup, the students gathered into a human aerial art formation, creating a giant sea snail with the Yin-Yang symbol on its shell. Also spelled out in the 120 by 180 foot image were the words “RESTORE BALANCE.”
The children clapped and waved as news helicopters hovered overhead recording the event and sending out the message that protecting our oceans is vital to the lives of all humans and wildlife.
Ocean health is an issue that reaches across borders. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme 35% of marine species populations declined between 1979 and 1999. In August 2003, the Pew Ocean Commission report attributed an 8,000-square mile “dead zone” of oxygen-less water in the Gulf of Mexico to urban, suburban and agricultural runoff.
“It is time that we realize the impact of our everyday activities on our ocean and environment,” said Mike Reilly, Chair of the California Coastal Commission. “Our children are learning the value of a healthy ocean, and what we can do to help. They are sending a clear message that we need to restore balance between humans and our oceans by picking up trash, reducing our waste, and recycling.”
In the months prior, to the cleanup participating students received a school presentation to learn about urban storm drain systems and ocean ecosystems.
“Unfortunately, many do not realize that our inland waterways and storm drains ultimately flow into our oceans. The Kids’ Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup educates people about our environment and raises awareness through education and hands-on application,” said Derek D. Turbide, Executive Director of I Love A Clean San Diego.