Hello there! My name is Allen Dumaua, I am a student from Ximena Hernandez's English 2030 class. I have recently participated in the Heal the Bay community service event on Saturday September 17, 2016. It was at the Santa Monica beach and we were tasked with picking up the various trash that people leave behind on the beach. Now I know that people usually visit a beach to have fun with friends or family but I have really enjoyed this experience of cleaning up the beach. Prior to going to this event our class watched a documentary on plastic and how tons of it has accumulated in the ocean, so I was expecting to find a lot of plastic during my trash scavenger hunt. what surprised during my time there wasn't the sheer amount of plastic I found, but the amount of cigarette butts I found along the shore. When you really take your time to look and pick up trash it changes your perspective on how much we humans pollute our environment. I got a realization on how bad our situation is. During my time there we have picked up over a hundred cigarette butts and a few hundred plastics. I was in awe with how much we have picked up because we only covered a short area in a short time now if you calculate that will how long the beach is and other beaches the amount of trash is exceptionally high. In addition most of the plastics my group and I have encountered were small pieces of trash. And according to the documentary we watched, "Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch," it was the small plastics that do the most harm in the ecosystem. Not only do the plastic attract harsh chemicals but small animals actually end up eating the plastic thinking it is food and when those animals get eaten they too retain the plastic since it won't decompose. And from there it just keeps going higher in the food chain and maybe in your food one day. It really is scary to think about all these things that are happening but this is the harsh reality of it. That is why we need to prioritize healing our world from all that we have done to hurt it. Some may believe that even if they try it won't make a difference but I believe that that way of thinking is what got us into this mess in the first place. That is why I encourage others to help out our environment and further develop ways we can save it for our future kids and future generations to come. I am very grateful for this important experience so thank you professor Hernandez.