Today marks the 22nd Annual Kids Ocean Day - a day that inspired thousands of kids, teachers and volunteers to brave the (much needed) rain and clean up Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles County. By joining forces to clean up the beach, the kids sent a powerful message to the world: Unite for the Ocean.
Kids Ocean Day is the culmination of a year-long program by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education that teaches kids how neighborhood litter flows to the ocean, ultimately endangering or killing marine life. An estimated 3,500 students from 30 schools in Los Angeles participated in the day's activities.
A one-day cleanup event, Kids Ocean Day motivates students to care about their environment and instills in them a sense of environmental stewardship. It also raises awareness about the plight of our oceans - from prolific marine debris to endangered marine mammals, and from acidification to overfishing.
There's no better time to teach the next generation about the threats facing our seas. Studies now show that plastic pollutes the farthest reaches of the world's oceans, from local surfing spots to the distant Arctic seabed. Pollution and noise from expanding oil and gas exploration further strain already-stressed marine mammal populations. Years of chronic overfishing have stripped our oceans of much of their productivity. And the pollution that causes climate change is turning our oceans more acidic, killing off coral reef ecosystems and making it harder for marine creatures to produce shells. NRDC works on each of these issues, but we can't do it alone. That's why Kids Oceans Day is so important to engage and raise awareness in the next generation.
The Los Angeles celebration of Kids Ocean Day is one of six in the state of California, sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. More than 7,000 kids are expected to participate in Kids Ocean Day statewide. Here in Los Angeles, Kids Ocean Day 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.
At today's 22nd Annual Kids Ocean Day, children from Los Angeles showed us that united we can make a difference. And now, more than ever, the ocean needs our unified support.
(Photo Credit: Kids Oceans Day)
(Aerial Photo Credit: Jesse Kaplan, www.jessekaplanphoto.com)