On Sunday, September 27th, 2011, from 9:00am until 12noon, I headed down to our school beach on a mission to clear the sand and water of harmful and unsightly pollution. Our purpose while attending Heal the Bay: Dockweiler Beach Clean Up, was a beach cleanup in which we removed trash and recyclables from our California State University, Los Angeles beach at Dockweiler. Coastal and beach cleanup is extremely important and one of the largest volunteer events in the world. As many might ask, “why are beach clean ups so important”? California's coast and waterways collect trash and debris from places all over. This trash, if not removed, can be harmful and even fatal to all manners of marine wildlife, can damage our state's economy, and can even become a human health hazard. Coastal cleanup is a great way for us students and families to join together, take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how we can prevent them, and most importantly to have fun!
I was able to make a difference by helping preserve and clean our Cal State LA, Dockweiler beach. We try to keep it clean because a clean beach helps to make our environment a much cleaner and healthier place to be. I felt proud after seeing the difference, how the beach looked after the cleanup. When we first got there, there were trash bags, bottles, chip bags, wrappers, as well as gross things such as condoms. Trash, even though this beach is considered to be one of the cleanest beaches within Los Angeles, still after being cleaned, still had trash and recyclables spread everywhere. But, walking through the foggy beach weather, after finishing, all I could see was sand, even more sand, and the beautiful beach. The way in which this experience connected to larger themes discussed in our class would contain themes such as restoring and issues concerning our environment. Also, this could somewhat tie into the theme of the American dream and as to what exactly you appreciate America to be. The trash and waste I found at Dockweiler is essentially detrimental and dangerous, not only to fish but also marine wildlife everywhere. As we noticed, as I found a somewhat big Styrofoam ice chest and glass bottles, these objects can and will eventually break down and be very dangerous for thousands and thousands of not only fish, but as well as other marine life it comes into contact with.Everyone went home with bright smiles on their faces knowing that they did something for their environment. We gathered all our debris and recorded the number of pieces collected. Other trash items included food packaging, cigarettes, plastics, and so on. It was surprising to see that beaches are polluted by such trash.
This experience opened my eyes to what’s happening around me. We are so preoccupied with unnecessary things – don’t forget that there’s a world out there that needs attention. It needs our help. We were the ones that brought bad changes to the environment, but we are also the hope for a better and cleaner world. The Earth is the only inhabitable planet. The future lies in our hands. As we work together to make a difference, this is the best gift we can give to Mother Earth, who has sustained us and nurtured us for a long time. In order to change and better society, we must all do our own part!