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Kids practice taking care of the ocean

Organizer says some of the kids participating in Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup have never been to the beach before.

June 04, 2008|By Michael Alexander

More than 500 elementary school students from around the county will converge on Bolsa Chica State Beach Friday morning as part of the Kids’ Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup. For the 15th year running, this statewide event sponsored by the California Coastal Commission brings kids out to beaches up and down the coast to help out.

In addition to picking up trash, kids from Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Anaheim will be lining up in the sand to form a giant message visible from the sky about preservation.

The local organizer, Orange County Coastkeeper, has held assemblies at all six participating schools to teach kids about the importance of clean beaches and oceans, said Briana Madden, the group’s education coordinator.

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“We teach them about how storm drains lead to the ocean,” she said. “A lot of them assume it goes down to a treatment plant of some sort, but the runoff goes directly to the ocean. We explore all the various activities we can do to help, and what we’ll be doing at the event.”

Jefferson and Lord Baden Powell elementary schools of Anaheim, El Sol, Pio Pico and Franklin elementary schools of Santa Ana, and Andersen elementary school in Newport Beach are all sending students, according to a news release. While all will have a learning experience, those in schools farthest from the water might have the most to gain, Madden said.

“A lot of students from Anaheim and Santa Ana, some of them have never been to the ocean before,” she said. “We really believe that’s crucial; how can you expect students to care for the ocean if you’ve never gotten to experience it? If you really want to inspire people to protect something, it’s important for them to get to experience it firsthand.”

To cap off the experience, the students will line up in the sand and form the message “Kids care,” along with the shapes of a fish and a child.

“They’re taking a stand to show they’re part of something and making a difference,” Madden said.


MICHAEL ALEXANDER may be reached at (714) 966-4618 or at michael.alexander@latimes.com.

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