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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

3,000 KIDS TO CLEAN DOCKWEILER BEACH AND FORM "CLEAN H20 NOW" MESSAGE

LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2001) – More than 4,000 kids throughout the state will hit the beaches tomorrow, May 22, in three major cities for the Eighth Annual Kid’s Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up program. Three thousand kids from 26 elementary schools will clean at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles, and more than 1,000 more will clean up the shores of Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Silver Strand State Beach in San Diego. The event is in honor of Ocean Day.

After the cleanup at Dockweiler, at noon, the kids will spell out a huge human "CLEAN H20 NOW’ message on the beach for an aerial photograph, addressing the need for clean ocean water. Dockweiler Beach is located where Imperial Highway ends at Vista del Mar west of the Los Angeles International Airport.

The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education created this annual event in Los Angeles and receives generous support from the California Coastal Commission’s Adopt-A-Beach and Whale Tail License Plate programs. It also receives support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ Stormwater Program.

The event is part of the Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program aimed at Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego area school children. The program includes a series of assemblies that teach how the storm drain system connects urban neighborhoods to the beaches and oceans, and addresses the need for recycling and litter reduction. The children and their families are then encouraged to join the year-round Adopt-A-Beach program coordinated by Heal the Bay.

"I created the assembly program to educate the children of Los Angeles on how the beaches and oceans get dirty and what they can do to help keep them clean," said Michael Klubock, Executive Director of the Malibu Foundation. "The Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program motivates them to come out and make a difference in their community."

The City of Los Angeles has become involved in the program as a way of educating school children about the impact stormwater pollution has on our beaches and ocean. It funds the Malibu Foundation to conduct assemblies at elementary schools throughout the City showing kids how pollution and litter not only impacts our communities but our beaches and ocean as well. The program then makes them a part of the solution through their involvement in the Beach Clean-up or local neighborhood or park clean-ups.

"Giving kids the opportunity to visit the beach and the pollution is so important," said Gary Lee Moore, Department of Public Works Stormwater Program Manager. "When they realize that they can be part of the solution, this empowerment stays with them throughout their lives." The California Coastal Commission coordinates the Assembly Program and Kid’s Clean-Up statewide. The statewide program is funded by the support of the 53,000 Californians who have purchased the "Whale Tail" specialty license plate and, by doing so, raised more than $2 million..

"The ocean supports our lives in so many ways," said Chris Parry, California Coastal Commission Public Education Manager. "By celebrating Ocean Day and sending their clean water message, the children are helping draw attention to the need to protect our ocean resources."

The United States Coast Guard, which has become a major part of the global effort to protect the environment, will be on the beach and in the air to participate in the event. Because of their long tradition and expertise in all facets of maritime activities, the Coast Guard is considered uniquely equipped to play a significant part in these vital and growing ecological movements.

Heal the Bay manages and oversees volunteers for the Coastal Commission’s year-round Adopt-A-Beach program in L.A. County. Volunteers clean the beach three times a year, including Coastal Cleanup Day, which is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2001.

Other event sponsors include the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, Los Angeles International Airport, 97.5 Super Estrella and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. For more information call 800-COAST-4U.