LA Kids Love the Ocean
Kids Ocean Day Unites Thousands of Children to Clean-Up the Beach
For more than a quarter of a century, Los Angeles kids have united to honor and protect the ocean. Yesterday’s 26th Annual Kids Ocean Day was no different, inspiring thousands of kids, teachers and volunteers to brave the wind and clean up Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles County. This year’s theme—CARE FOR WHAT YOU LOVE—was visually illustrated by a student-led aerial art formation in the shape of sea animals and a heart.
Kids Ocean Day is the culmination of a months-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 4,000 students from schools across Los Angeles participated in yesterday'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. This year’s theme—Care For What You Love—tapped into life’s most basic emotion and connected children to the dire threats facing our oceans.
There's no better time to teach the next generation, because the situation is dire.
The United Nations warned last year in a report that dire impacts from climate change—including sea level rise—will arrive sooner than many expected. The U.N. released another report earlier this month finding, among other things, that nearly half of land and marine ecosystems have been profoundly compromised by human interference in the last 50 years and up to a million species face extinction within decades because of human influence.
Across the planet, whales are washing up dead with plastic in their stomachs. As Carl Safina wrote in a great CNN op-ed:
Last November, a sperm whale turned up dead in Indonesia, containing over 1,000 pieces of plastic, including 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, plastic bottles and much else. In March, in the Philippines, a 15-foot beaked whale arrived dead with nearly 90 pounds of plastic in his stomach. On April Fools' Day, a sperm whale washed ashore in Italy with almost 50 pounds of plastic in her stomach; she was pregnant, so count that as two.
Closer to home, gray whales have been washing up dead and starving on the West Coast, the warming ocean being the likely cause for their lack of prey.
We are handing the next generation a planet in despair. But kids are already standing up. Today a massive global protest led by kids demanding political action on climate change is underway, including 2,300 school strikes planned in 150 countries.
And at yesterday’s 26th Annual Kids Ocean Day, thousands of children from Los Angeles showed us that we must love our oceans. Because now, more than ever before, our oceans need our love.