Mark Keppel High School takes on Coastal Cleanup Day! by Valerie Dao

On October 15, 2018, 15 members of MKHS Heal the Bay went to Torrance Beach for Coastal Cleanup Day.  The club had partnered with a Torrance Pharmaceutical Company, Bachem. Bachem gave free t shirts to all of its volunteer employees and offered them to the club members as well. This helped club members and employees bond over service.

After listening to a safety talk, the organizers informed us that they hid 3 golden starfish out in the beach for us to find. If we found these starfish, we would receive a prize. We couldn’t wait until we could get on the beach to start looking for those starfish. We agreed to split up into groups and meet up at 11:30 at the top. The organizers gave us burlap-like trash bags to gather our trash in. These trash bags were emptied of their trash in a trash can and reused for new volunteers, reducing accumulating trash. There were already many people out on the beach cleaning up when we started. It was difficult to find trash on that beach, which was amazing. The city of Torrance kept a well-maintained and clean beach. My group of 3 looked in the clumps of seaweed to find trash, and found many tiny bits of Styrofoam. But there was not much trash that was visible.  As we were walking around the coastline, we bumped into many other groups who were cleaning up, including people from high school environmental classes, Boeing, Honda, and elementary classes. While the club members and majority of beach volunteers focused on finding trash to pick up on the beach and finding the starfish, my parents walked up to the beach parking lot. They were surprised to see how much trash was up there, compared to the small amount of trash down at the beach. They filled their bag with trash within 10 minutes. Meanwhile, my group was still searching for trash down at the beach. We found a dinosaur toy a kid left behind and the bottom part of a shoe. Time passed by very quickly and soon it was 11:30. The club members met up at a booth to turn in our trash bags. As a thank-you for volunteering, the City of Torrance allowed us to choose one of 3 environmentally friendly gifts: a reusable metal straw with a pipe cleaner, a set of bamboo utensils, or a t-shirt that said “Save Our Beaches.” We were also given a voucher for a taco-truck lunch. During lunch, the employees from Bachem and the members from MKHS Heal the Bay were able to bond some more. We thanked them for allowing us to partner up with them for Coastal Cleanup Day.

The project made club members realize how much clean environments should be respected and maintained. I have always enjoyed participating in community cleanups, and was glad to share the experience with many of the club members. Our club would like to thank the Bachem company again for letting us work with them.

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Hello Everyone!

My name is Danielle Furuichi and I am the new Programs Coordinator at Heal the Bay. It makes me so happy to see your commitment and enthusiasm for protecting and advocating 

for the ocean. I met some of you at our Chasing Coral event, and I am looking forward to working with all of you on your projects and sharing your passion for the environment! 

A little bit about me: Growing up near the beach, I have always loved the ocean and been fascinated by all of its inhabitants. I always spent my weekends at the beach, and I missed the ocean like crazy while I went to school in the Midwest. After graduating from Indiana University in 2016, I traveled all around Europe and then finally returned home to Los Angeles. I became a teacher and began volunteering at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. From there, I connected with Heal the Bay, and I could not be more excited to work with all of you! On the weekends, you can catch me rock climbing, hiking, and surfing–or at least attempting to surf.  

UPCOMING EVENTS

This Saturday (4/28) is the City Nature Challenge: Malibu Lagoon Bioblitz!! The City Nature Challenge is all about competing with other major cities to see who can make the most observations of nature and find the most species. This is an awesome chance to meet people, learn about our environment, AND earn Club Drops!  You can register and learn more about this event on Eventbrite:   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-nature-challenge-2018-malibu-lagoon-bioblitz-tickets-44574529618

– Danielle (:

ECO Club Adopts Rosie’s Beach

Author: Mayra Acevedo
Club: ECO Club at STEAM Legacy High School

IMG_5864 - Mayra AcevedoMy club is the ECO Club, and early in the morning we were all very excited to go out and collect the garbage that builds up on the beach. My club members were very motivated so right when we got to the beach everyone wanted to get started. After we had our first safety talk, we split up into our groups where we got our hands dirty to clean up the beach. After about 2 hours we came together to see our progress and all the trash we collected and compared data cards, and at the end we through the garbage and way in a trash can!

IMG_5843 - Mayra Acevedo

We found more straws then we though we would but all in all it was a great time. I believe we could get more of our members to attend next time, but it was a great experience. It made my club members feel like they were truly making a difference!

Find ECO Club on Instagram!: @eco.steam0210

IMG_5860 - Mayra Acevedo