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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

May 21, 2004 Contacts: Barbara Hodgson 310-276-6232
Joyce Neal-Amaro 323-342-1570
For Immediate Release

3,000 Kids Will Clean Dockweiler Beach on
Ocean Day, Friday, May 21, 2004

Students will take their Òstand in the sandÓ and form a life preserver and letters spelling out ÒKEEP OCEANS ALIVE!Ó

LOS ANGELES, CA – Approximately 3,000 kids from 23 elementary and high schools will clean up Dockweiler State Beach. These students will join other students throughout the state will commemorate Ocean Day at the 11th Annual KidsÕ Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup. Beach cleanups will be taking place along the length of the California coast, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Huntington Beach and San Diego. These students have been learning that clean neighborhoods make clean beaches. TomorrowÕs event provides the opportunity to practice what they previously learned in school assembly programs about the ocean and pollution prevention. After the cleanup, the students will take part in an aerial art exhibition. This year students will form a life preserver and letters that spell out ÒKEEP OCEANS ALIVE!Ó sending a message to all Californians that preserving the worldÕs oceans is vital to human and animal life.

The issue of the critical health of the worldÕs oceans is currently being raised on an international level as well. In June 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission released a report warning that ÒAmericaÕs oceans are in crisis and the stakes could not be higher.Ó And in March of this year, the United Nations Environment Programme highlighted the increasing problem of Òdead zones,Ó reporting that close to 150 regions in oceans and seas around the world now lack enough oxygen to support sea life.

Central Valley schoolchildren already held their KidsÕ Cleanup events in Monterey and San Luis Obispo on Cesar Chavez Day in March, and on June 5th international students will join their California counterparts for similar beach cleanups and aerial art projects in Vancouver and Toronto.

ÒOur oceans are straining under the pressure of human use," said Mike Reilly, Chair of the California Coastal Commission. ÒThese young people have learned to appreciate the value of a healthy ocean, and what people can do to help. They are sending out the message that our oceans need a life preserver." The Coastal Commission coordinates the program statewide.

Michael Klubock, Executive Director and Founder of the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, created this annual event in Los Angeles. The event is part of the Coastal CommissionÕs Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program and the City of Los AngelesÕ Stormwater Program. It includes a series of assemblies that teach how urban neighborhoods are connected to the beaches and oceans through storm drains, and addresses the need for recycling and litter reduction in every community so that neighborhood trash does not end up at the coast.

ÒThe assembly program educates the children of Los Angeles about how the beaches and oceans get dirty and what they can do to help keep them clean," said Klubock, "The Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program has motivated them to come out today and make a difference in their community."

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. ÒGiving kids the opportunity to visit the beach and clean up the pollution is so important,Ó said Valerie Lynne Shaw, City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works President, ÒWhen they realize that they can be part of the solution, this empowerment stays with them throughout their lives.Ó

John Quigley is the designer of the human aerial artwork. He has produced human aerial art messages around the world, including recent reproductions of three Picasso art pieces in Santa Monica and Miami and the image of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima calling attention to the needs of veterans.

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 3 times per year. One of those dates can be Coastal Cleanup Day, which will be held this year on Saturday, September 18 from 9 a.m. to noon throughout California for the public.

Event Supporters: The event is funded by the California Coastal CommissionÕs Whale Tail License Plate Fund and the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program.

Elementary school students in LA will be assisted by Palisades Charter High School students, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. The Los Angeles International Airport, supported this event by donating sun visors to the children.

Other Supporters: 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; Starbucks; Noah’s Bagels; Hyatt Hotels; Walkie-Talkie Rentals; A-1 Rentals and the LA Sparks.

3,000 kids taking their stand in the sand, Ocean Day 2003
Malibu Foundation Director Michael Kluboch gives the kids a pep talk as Brian Williams, Deputy Mayor and Fran Diamond, LARWQCB Chair look on.
Stormwater Program Manager Shahram Kharaghani was also on hand to explain to kids the importance of their contribution and to share their knowledge with others.