More than 6,300 area students, teachers and volunteers joined together at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey June 2 for a beach cleanup and to form an aerial message regarding the impacts of ocean litter.

The participants in the 18th Annual Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up created the symbol of a talking fish on the sand, saying “Kelp Us” – a message intended to focus on the protection of marine life.

The event was hosted by the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, the city of Los Angeles and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful.

In addition, the thousands of students assisted in picking up trash at the beach. The fish design for the aerial art was created by student Fatima Martinez of Camino Nuevo-Harvard Charter School. Students Samuel Spence and Asa Cusick from Environmental Charter Middle school wrote the message.

“Kids Ocean Day serves as an annual call to recognize the far reaching consequences of urban litter and the work needed to restore and preserve the world’s oceans for our future,” said Cynthia M. Ruiz, president for the Los Angeles Board of Public Works. “For the city of Los Angeles, it is imperative to reach out to as many students as possible to encourage personal responsibility and volunteer actions that help sustain the health of the ocean and environment.”

Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, said, “The commission has long been a leader in helping students of all ages learn about threats to our beaches and ocean. By cleaning beaches and giving a voice to ocean inhabitants, students up and down the state are putting into action what they’ve learned about the importance of clean seas.

“They remind us that each of us must do our part to care for the ocean, and that it’s time we stop dumping garbage where it ends up on our beaches and in the ocean.”

A recent donation from the organization Miss Me funded the school assemblies and over 40 buses that brought children to Dockweiler Beach for the event. Whole Foods Market provided lunch for all the volunteers. Kids Ocean Day is celebrated at six locations along the California coast.

“Through our program’s efforts, the students learned how their actions make a very powerful impact on the world,” said Michael Klubock, founder and executive director of Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education.

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