Joy in Nature at the Annual Kids’ Ocean Day
Over 150 students, mentors, volunteers and staff took to Mission Beach to celebrate the 27th Annual Kids’ Ocean Day.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY (May 27, 2022) – On May 26, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) engaged more than 150 students, mentors, volunteers and staff to discover joy in nature while protecting what they love at Mission Beach for the 27th Annual Kids’ Ocean Day. This is the first year back to an in-person event since 2019 and everyone felt energized while connecting with each other and nature. With a litter cleanup along Mission Beach, students and volunteers significantly improved the health and beauty of San Diego’s natural environment, preventing debris from entering the ocean, where it can be mistaken for food and ingested by marine wildlife. After the cleanup, the group formed an aerial art image of the word “JOY” with the ILACSD heart logo in lieu of the “O” to connect with this year’s theme of “Discover Joy in Nature”.
In an attempt to empower over 800 youth while accommodating safety restrictions, ILACSD hosted separate environmental education presentations and school campus cleanups in the weeks leading up to Kids’ Ocean Day. These programs for individual schools sparked student engagement and their understanding of the impact their actions have on the environment. The students who participated in the school presentations and campus cleanups attend Title 1 schools throughout San Diego County – Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School, Clay Elementary, Ericson Elementary, La Mirada Academy, Los Peñasquitos Elementary, and Mission Elementary. Through additional outreach and partnerships with other youth organizations, ILACSD staff presented to youth from the Barrio Logan College Institute and Pro Kids – First Tee. Both programs mentor youth from a young age to develop the necessary skills, learning habits, goals, and practical knowledge in their schooling, future professions, and overall lives.
The event on May 26 brought out youth and adults from Barrio Logan College Institute, and culminated with the creation of a piece of living art – an aerial art image that spelled out “JOY” along South Mission Beach. This powerful image is a call for San Diegans to take action on behalf of our oceans and the sensitive wildlife that call it home. There are already more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans, and it’s estimated by 2050, virtually every seabird species on the planet will be eating plastic. The “Discover Joy in Nature” message serves as a reminder to us all that when we come together, there is so much joy to experience in the outdoors, we can build stronger relationships with each other, and our collective impact can make a difference. This event also acted as a reminder that our homes do not end at our doorstep – our homes include the natural environment – and embodies ILACSD’s motto of “passion in action” to care for our larger home – Earth.
Kids’ Ocean Day was made possible through the generous support of many partners, including California’s Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail grant program and the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund, County of San Diego District Attorney Community Grant Program, Kiwanis Club, TEGNA Foundation, Kaiser Foundation, Wells Fargo, Sony Electronics, and CBS News 8.
Kids’ Ocean Day is one of hundreds of cleanups hosted by ILACSD annually. In 2021, ILACSD mobilized nearly 8,400 volunteers who removed over 61,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County. Join ILACSD for their next cleanup is Saturday, June 4 at Escondido Creek in Harmony Grove. For more information about how to get involved, visit CleanSD.org.
About I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD)
As San Diego’s most influential advocate for sustainability, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) is an environmental catalyst, awakening passion and inspiring action, empowering everyone to improve the health and beauty of our local environment. For 65 years, we have brought the best in all of us together for a lasting, positive impact on our region. We are passion in action. For more information, to volunteer or donate, visit CleanSD.org, WasteFreeSD.org or call (619) 291-0103. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.