Da Vinci Communications students helped contribute to Heal The Bay’s beach clean up on Saturday, September 15th.
September 15th marked the 33rd annual international coastal cleanup day using the hashtag #setup cleanup to influence people around the world to participate.
The National Honors Society planned the beach clean-up for students. Regina Flores, 9th grade English Teacher and NHS Advisor, attended and supervised the event.
“I was really proud of them for coming on a Saturday to do something to help our environment and earn their community service hours,” Flores said.
According to the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, over 500 pounds of trash was cleaned from the beach within the time frame of three hours.
Koby Wu, a current senior at DVC and president of the National Honors Society mentioned how her club organizes numerous events like the cleanup.
“We’ve done a lot of beach cleanups the last few years,” Wu said. “We’ve been a club so it was easy to plan and going to the beach is fun.”
Wu said she was really happy with the turnout at this year’s cleanup.
Other volunteers showed up and had their own perspectives about how the beach clean up went.
Tarik Canada, a current sophomore at DVC said that “I would do it again for service hours and also do it if I had to, but that wouldn’t be my first choice for something to do on a Saturday morning.”
The majority of materials found where straws, bottle caps and cigarette buds. Helpers were instructed to not pick up things that were dangerous such as glass.
Leah Torres, a senior and NHS Co-President stated that “A lot of plastic goes into the ocean and fish may eat it or the animals may eat it so even the smallest items can make a difference”
The National Honors Society has helped get Da Vinci students involved in the community in the past few years and may plan another beach clean up or community event in the near future.
Tiffany Brown, a current sophomore at DVC discussed that she would do it again because “it brought a good feeling knowing I was doing something great for the environment and it was just a lot of fun.”
The beach clean up may have helped sea animals and stopped many animal food chains from being interfered with.
“I love going to the beach and doing anything to help sea animals not become extinct, I’ll definitely do it again,” said Wu.
Beach cleanups can help the environment and play a key part in preserving marine life and keeping ocean ecosystems safe. Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, states that “From plankton to whales, animals across ocean ecosystems have been contaminated by plastic.” They also stated that “Plastic has been found in 59% of seabirds like albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world.”
Flores said that she hoped that students learned more about the importance of preserving the environment from participating in the cleanup.
“I hope that people who volunteered learned that even tiny bits of plastic are important to pick up of the beach and they learned that it’s not okay to leave trash on the street because it goes straight into the gutters and then it breaks down into microplastics and then those microplastics get eaten by ocean animals,” Flores said.
Students will have another opportunity to help clean up he beach next year when Heal The Bay reschedules the next annual clean up.