20th Kids Ocean Day Encourages Us To Listen

KIDS OCEAN DAY 01-1More than 3,500 Los Angeles students, teachers and volunteers participated in the 20th annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa Del Rey and formed a giant boy holding a shell that says “Listen.” By taking a stand in the sand, the children alerted the world about the need to protect the ocean from plastic litter that flows down streets that lead to the ocean, thereby killing marine life and polluting food resources.

The day’s activities began with a program kick-off involving: LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (District 11); California Coastal Commissioner Wendy Mitchell; Bureau of Sanitation Chief Operating Officer Traci Minamide; Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education Founder and Executive Director Michael Klubock; 5 Gyres board member Lisa Boyle; and Eco Hero Kids performing a song. Students proceeded to pick up trash on the beach before forming a large human mosaic.

Kids Ocean Day in Los Angeles is the culmination of a year-round school assembly program by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education to teach school kids about the adverse impacts of pollution to the ocean. According to Michael Klubock, Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education Executive Director and founder of Kids Ocean Day, “Our program is about raising awareness to facilitate behavioral change. Throughout the year, we taught the students that beneath the surface of the ocean, animals are eating plastic and getting tangled in nets and six-pack IMG_4390-1rings. Today, we took them to the beach for a clean-up to drive home the message, and have them participate in an aerial artwork to let them make a statement about their commitment to the environment. Through all these efforts, we are building a generation of informed agents of charge and champions to the ocean.”

Leading the charge in protecting the ocean is eighth grader Adam Mendoza of Monte Vista School in El Monte. Mendoza designed the kid holding the shell with the words “Listen” that was transformed by aerial artist John Quigley into a 3,500-person mosaic, comprised mostly of students from 36 Los Angeles area schools. The Los Angeles celebration of Kids Ocean Day is one of six in California, sponsored by the California Coastal Commission with more than 7,000 kids participating statewide.

Kids Ocean Day in Los Angeles was organized by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, the City of Los Angeles, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful and Spectral Q.  Supporters include the Plastic Pollution Coalition and 5 Gyres.  The California Coastal Commission coordinates the program statewide and provides financial support from the Whale Tail License Plate Fund.

Photos courtesy of Kids Ocean Day and City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

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    Aerial Art at Kids Ocean Day 2010