On May 26, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) engaged over 150 students, mentors, volunteers, and staff to experience the joy of nature while protecting what they love in Mission Beach for the 27th Annual children on the ocean.
This year was our first time back to an in-person event since 2019 and everyone felt energized while connecting with each other and nature. With a trash cleanup along Mission Beach, students and volunteers have dramatically improved the health and beauty of San Diego’s natural environment, preventing debris from entering the ocean, where it can be mistaken for food and ingested by marine life.
After the cleanup, the group formed an air art image of the word “Joy” with the ILACSD heart logo instead of the “O” to connect with this year’s theme “Discover Joy in Nature.”
In a bid to empower over 800 young people while taking into account safety restrictions, ILACSD held environmental education presentations and separate school campus cleanups in the weeks leading up to Children’s Ocean Day. . These programs for individual schools have sparked student engagement and understanding of the impact of their actions on the environment.
Students who participated in school presentations and campus cleanups attend Title 1 schools in San Diego County – Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School, Clay Elementary, Ericson Elementary, La Mirada Academy, Los Peñasquitos Elementary, and Mission Elementary.
Through additional outreach and partnerships with other youth organizations, ILACSD staff delivered presentations to youth at Barrio Logan College Institute and Pro Kids – First Tee. Both programs mentor young people from an early age to develop the skills, learning habits, goals, and practical knowledge needed in their schooling, future careers, and life in general.
The May 26 event brought together youth and adults from Barrio Logan College Institute and culminated in the creation of a living work of art – an aerial art image that spelled “JOY” along South Mission Beach . This powerful image is a call to the people of San Diegan to take action on behalf of the oceans and the sensitive wildlife that call it home.
There are already more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the oceans, and it is estimated that by 2050 virtually every species of seabird on the planet will be eating plastic. The message “Discover the Joy in Nature” is a reminder that when people come together, there is a joy in experiencing the outdoors and connecting with each other to make a difference. This event also served as a reminder that home does not stop at the door – homes include the natural environment – and embodies the ILACSD motto “passion in action” to care for the Earth.
Children’s Ocean Day was made possible through the generous support of many partners, including California’s Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grants Program and the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund, the US Attorney’s Community Grants Program. San Diego County, the Kiwanis Club, the TEGNA Foundation and the Kaiser Foundation. , Wells Fargo, Sony Electronics and CBS News 8.
Kids’ Ocean Day is one of hundreds of cleanups organized each year by ILACSD. In 2021, ILACSD engaged nearly 8,400 volunteers who removed over 61,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County. Join ILACSD for their next cleanup on Saturday, June 4 at Escondido Creek in Harmony Grove. For more information on how to get involved, visit CleanSD.org.
Photo Courtesy: I like a clean San Diego