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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Mayor-elect Villaraigosa told students that taking care of their neighborhoods also helps keep the ocean clean.

LOS ANGELES, CA — Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa joined over 4,200 kids from 48 elementary schools in helping clean up Dockweiler State Beach on May 20th. Calling them "heroes" for their efforts in cleaning the beach, the Mayor-elect told students that "you’re a part of an effort…kids up and down the state saying to their parents and communities, ‘WE WANT CLEAN BEACHES…’ and you’re leading by example!"

Kids from Los Angeles area schools joined other students throughout the state to commemorate Ocean Day at the 12th Annual Kids’ Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup. Beach cleanups also took place along the length of the California coast, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Huntington Beach and San Diego. The students have been learning that clean neighborhoods make clean beaches which was reinforced by taking part in this annual event.

Ocean Day provides students the opportunity to practice what they previously learned in school assembly programs about the ocean and pollution prevention. Under the direction of Los Angeles environmentalist and artist, John Quigley, the schoolchildren formed a giant image of a fish on oxygen and the words "RESTORE BALANCE" to remind the world that the health of the ocean must be a top priority.

The City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program partnered with the Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program with the goal of educating students that stormwater pollution from our communities is the single largest source of marine pollution. "Giving kids the opportunity to visit the beach and clean up the pollution is so important," said Shahram Kharaghani, Division Manager, City of Los Angeles Watershed Protection Division, which implements the Stormwater Program. "When they realize that they can be part of the solution, this empowerment stays with them throughout their lives," he continued.

Michael Klubock, executive director and founder of the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, created this annual event in Los Angeles and it is now a program of both the Coastal Commission and the City of Los Angeles. Also on hand to celebrate this year’s Ocean Day were former Assemblyman Richard Katz and the City’s Stormwater Education Program Manager Joyce Amaro.

The public can get involved in cleaning beaches in Los Angeles year-round by calling Heal the Bay at 800-HEALBAY. Volunteers commit to cleaning the beach three times per year with the next scheduled clean up occuring on Coastal Cleanup Day, which will be held this year on Saturday, September 17 from 9 a.m. to noon throughout California.

Event Supporters: City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program, Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and California Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail License Plate Fund.

Other Supporters: California Regional Water Quality Control Board; Palisades Charter High School; Los Angeles Conservation Corps.; Los Angeles International Airport; Los Angeles Unified School District; Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division; City of Los Angeles City Council; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors; Earth Spirit Agape; A-1 Rentals; Starbucks – Venice; Noah’s Bagels – Sherman Oaks; Walkie-Talkie Rentals; Bristol Farms; and Coca-Cola.

Aerial view of the 4,000 kids spelling out "Restore Balance"