For today’s blog, we’d like to turn the spotlight towards one of ILACSD’s past volunteers, Lauren. Although Lauren has since moved to the east coast, she hasn’t forgotten her roots here in San Diego, where she first developed her love for the ocean. Read on to learn more about her perspective as a volunteer and how her experience developed into being so much more than a school assignment.
So you’re from San Diego… That generally implies that you have a large collection of bathing suits and flip-flops and an inherent love of the ocean. As a San Diegan myself I cannot disagree with those thoughts. I do, in fact, own a few too many bikinis, a number of flip-flops, and I have a great love for the ocean. No matter if I am tanning, swimming or paddle boarding, I enjoy spending my free time on the coast. At times, however, when the shores are littered with trash and debris, it can be hard to truly enjoy and appreciate the beauty of San Diego’s beaches. Enter, I Love a Clean San Diego, a local non-profit organization that not only promotes clean coastlines, but also involves the entire County of San Diego community in its efforts.
My volunteer efforts with ILACSD began as a high school assignment; in order to graduate, I was required to complete 12 hours of service work during each of my four years. To ensure that volunteer efforts were being evenly distributed throughout the community, the school also required students to volunteer with a different organization each year. Senior year, I decided to dedicate my time to environmental issues and participated in multiple beach clean ups with ILACSD. I partook in my first clean up alone and later invited my mother to participate in others with me. Working as a team not only helped my mother and I bond, but increased our ability to clean the given beach. I have benefitted from my beach clean up experiences in other ways as well; I now have a greater love for the San Diego community and appreciation for our beaches. Witnessing the great things a group of San Diegans can accomplish by donating a few hours of their time to cleaning the coast makes me proud to be from America’s Finest City.
The beach cleanups organized by ILACSD provide all San Diegans with an opportunity to demonstrate the pride they have in their city and beaches and get involved in local efforts to maintain safe and clean beaches for all. A schedule of upcoming beach cleanups can be found on the ILACSD website.
Written by Lauren Van Abel, paddle board enthusiast and marketing specialist.