Last Saturday, Heal the Bay held its monthly “Nothin’ But Sand” beach cleanup. We’ve been running these regularly scheduled cleanups for a few years now, but they’ve really swelled in the last year.
An amazing 820 folks escaped March Madness to come out on a blustery morning to remove debris at Dockweiler Beach near Imperial Highway, marking the largest monthly beach cleanup we’ve ever hosted. Despite the chilly temps, volunteers were in a great mood as they scoured the sand for bits of Styrofoam and cigarette butts. (Maybe because they didn’t have to see the carnage of Villanova blowing out the Bruins).
The volunteers came from all over Los Angeles County. Boy Scouts, a few high school groups, including a large fun-loving group from Cleveland HS, Arizona State University alums (they suffered the same hoops fate a day later), Disney VoluntEars, two sororities from LMU’s Greek society, and numerous other groups spent a productive morning healing the Bay.
Our monthly beach cleanup program has become so successful through the hard work and organization of great staff like Eveline Bravo, our Beach Programs Manager, coupled with online networking via our website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other digital vehicles.
The program’s success also rests on it being truly volunteer driven and volunteer run. We see many cleanup volunteers returning each month to different venues. The cleanups also provide a sense of empowerment, with leaders of attending organizations running the show with their groups.
Let’s face it. There’s a lot of negativity and cynicism in the news these days. So it’s great to see everyday people banding together for an uplifting experience. The beach gets clean and people feel good about helping out. Volunteers have a great time, and they get some good exercise for two hours on a Saturday morning.
April’s “Nothin’ But Sand” event will be held Saturday the 18th, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Santa Monica Pier. Registration will be held near the lifeguard tower on the north side of the pier. Volunteers will clean up both sides of the pier and some brave souls may even consider cleaning up the beach under the pier. Heal the Bay may even have a competition.
Make the April 18th S.M. Beach cleanup part of your Earth Day Activities. See you there.