Coastal Clean-Up Day
Grab some sun screen, a hat, a few friends, and a water bottle and head down to the beach this weekend Saturday, September 15, and join the Coastal Clean Up Day effort! SMC students and staff will gather together on Pico and Bay Street in Santa Monica from 9 a.m to 12 p.m. to help clean up our beach. Free parking and water will be available for those attending the event.
This will be SMC’s sixth year contributing with the California Coastal Conservancy Agency, which hosts about eight thousand volunteers world wide in an effort to clear pollution out of our waterways. This year the organization, The Story Of Stuff, dedicates itself to bringing awareness to over consumerism and the effects it has on our planet. “Most of the plastic that has ever been made is still in existence today, and most of it is in the ocean,” says Life Science Department Chair Alexandra Tower, emphasizing the importance of keeping our oceans clean and ceasing the addition of waste to the already existing problem.
Tower also highly encourages the attendance of not just friends, but family members both big and small. “I always get the question can I bring my family, can I bring my children,” says Tower. Anyone is welcome to attend though children require parental consent to participate.
Due to the beach's historic identity as a gathering place for the local African American community, the Black Surfers Alliance will be present to help with the cleanup. The location was once one of the only places in the area that minorities were able to surf and swim without discrimination, which earned it the moniker "the Inkwell" among Santa Monica locals.
The Surfers Alliance will also commemorate the life of Nick Gabaldón, once a student of SMC, with free surf lessons. SMC's Adelante and Black Collegians programs are also loosely involved with this event and members will be able to receive credit for their attendance.
The Eco-Action, Plastic Free SMC, and the Bike Club will be present and participating, not only to bring awareness to the existing pollution in our oceans, but to bring awareness to many other environmental crises.
"I think it’s an eye-opener, for example smoking is not allowed on the beach, yet the number one item they will find are cigarette butts,” says Tower. She encourages anyone to attend and be part of the global movement and have some fun.
Whether you are an environmentalist, someone who needs community service hours, or you just plain love the ocean and want to help protect it, Coastal Clean Up day will be the place to go this weekend.