When it comes to promoting environmental awareness, it turns out, we are not oceans apart. On May 25th, SGA, in conjunction with LA City Sanitation, helped prepare and organize the 24th annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean Up at Dockweiler State Beach. The theme for this year’s beach clean up was “Come Together for the Ocean” and that’s what 4,000 Los Angeles students, teachers, and volunteers did.
So was it worth the weeks of preparation and planning, the exhausting day of organizing kids, teachers and volunteers, and the day-long promotion on social and traditional media? The answer is unequivocally YES!
“I love participating in Kids Ocean Day. Seeing the smiles on the kids when they first get out of the bus really makes it all worthwhile. Those smiles remind me why we do what we do: to protect our environment and create a better place for generations to come,” Carolina Gonzalez, SGA Project Manager.
It was an incredible feat, but in the end, teaching school kids about the adverse impacts of pollution to the oceans and watersheds made it all worth it. Students apply what they have learned in the classroom by using the beach clean up as a powerful and actionable step towards a healthier environment. The collected trash reduces the amount of non-biodegradable materials entering the oceans.
“Kids Ocean Day is one of my favorite events all year. After studying about ocean and water pollution in school, these kids get to take action about it, while seeing others join together to do it too. For some of these kids, it’s their first time at the beach. It’s great when kids get to see that what they’re learning in the classroom is relevant to the world outside of their school grounds and that they can make a positive change by taking an action as simple as picking up a piece of trash,” Angie Lee, Senior Outreach Specialist.
Education is an essential part of environmental stewardship. In an era where more and more children are disconnected from the environment, it is important to make a real investment in hands-on environmental education and outdoor learning. Studies have shown that environmental education engages students in learning, raising test scores, and encouraging youth to pursue careers in environmental and natural resources. This event gives us the opportunity to communicate the importance of responsible environmental governance to those who will be doing the governing long into the future.