The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium has scheduled a variety of activities focusing on environmental issues as part of its Earth Day celebration Saturday and Sunday, April 18th and 19th.

Earth Weekend events are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at the aquariumís marine education facility, 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica.

The celebration includes displays, presentations and other environmental activities, and beach cleanups will be ongoing throughout the weekend.

Heal the Bayís ìNothiní But Sandî monthly cleanup will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. north of the Pier. In the afternoon during the two-day festival, beach cleanups will be organized in front of the aquarium, ending at 3:30 p.m. both days. Anyone who cleans the beach will receive free admission to the aquarium on April 18th or 19th.

Special exhibits inside the aquarium will highlight the environmental problems of marine debris. Artist ìDeb Ris,î will display samples of her work, composed of trash found in the marine environment.

Another example of marine debris artwork, a mosaic of bottle caps created by Santa Monica High Schoolís ìTeam Marine,î will also be featured alongside information about a proposed law for bottle caps.

At the west end of the Pier, visitors can learn about the Marine Protected Areas process in Southern California that will establish underwater parks to protect environmentally sensitive underwater ecosystems. Heal the Bayís science and policy department staff will be on hand to discuss the protected areas and give more information on how the public can get involved.

Presentations by aquarium staff, face painting, scavenger hunts, craft projects and organized story times are among the other planned festivities, which are co-sponsored by Heal the Bayís media sponsor, Singular magazine.

Admission is free for children 12 and under when accompanied by an adult. For all others, admission is a suggested donation of $5 per person, with a minimum $2 admission fee. Groups of ten or more are $2 per person.

Information, www.healthebay.org/smpa/, or (310) 393-6149.

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