Nothin’ But Sand: A Beach Captain’s Perspective

Beach Captains are trained volunteers who run Heal the Bay's Nothin' But Sand monthly beach cleanups

Beach Captains from Heal the Bay’s Nothin’ But Sand monthly beach cleanup

Beach Captains are trained volunteers who run Heal the Bay’s Nothin’ But Sand monthly beach cleanups. One such captain, Santa Monica High School student Andrea Serrano shares her experiences as a volunteer. 

Nothin’ But Sand: A Beach Captain’s Perspective
By Andrea Serrano

I’ve never been into any type of volunteer work, until I joined the Heal the Bay organization. It wasn’t until I became a beach captain that I realized how much of a difference my help has towards our environment. Ever since I joined this organization I have become more aware of how much damage trash and ocean pollution has to our community.

Cleanup volunteers at the registration station

Cleanup volunteers at the registration station

We at Heal the Bay have a unique routine. We gather every third Saturday of each month and have a beach cleanup event called Nothin’ But Sand. These events are open to the whole community, the more volunteers we have the better. This has a huge impact to our oceans because we visit different beaches and try to clean up them up as much as we can.

A Heal the Bay Speaker's Bureau volunteer gives an educational safety talk to a group of cleanup volunteers

A Heal the Bay Speaker’s Bureau volunteer gives an educational safety talk to a group of cleanup volunteers

At these community events, we have different stations to which our volunteers must visit. Our most important station is our “safety talk” station. It is very important to us as beach captains that our volunteers go to that station because there we discuss all the information we have on how to make a difference to our environment. We inform our volunteers that we as a community need to start taking action and try to help make our world a healthier environment for future generations.

Andrea and Myriella help staff the supply tent along with other Beach Captains

Andrea and Myriella help staff the supply tent along with other Beach Captains

I trained to be a Beach Captain at January’s Nothin’ But Sand cleanup in Torrance. New captains trained with Heal the Bay staff one hour before the veteran captains arrived to start setting up for the day. All of the captains are very kind, helpful, and very welcoming. I have grown to love all of the captains because they make you feel like you’re part of their family.

Andrea and Myriella help with the raffle at the end of the cleanup

Andrea and Myriella help with the raffle at the end of the cleanup

Since my first event with Heal the Bay, I have not missed another. As a matter of a fact, I always look forward to attending and being able to socialize with the community. It is very important to inform the public about what is happening to our environment so that we can start making changes.

Since most people are unaware of the harm that we cause to our environment, it has become a major issue. With that being said, all of us involved in the Heal the Bay organization are set out with one goal. And that goal is to inform our community about the effects of ocean pollution, plastic distribution, etc… and the damage that these things have to our oceans, air, and marine animals.

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