Mike Dronkers / Friday, June 6, 2014 @ 9:52 a.m. /
Loleta, CA – On the morning of June 5, nearly 800 students took a “stand in the sand” at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area South Spit by forming a giant Pelican and with the message "One Big Ocean" as part of Ocean Day. Local pilot Mark Harris flew over while photographer Patrick Cudahy captured the image.
Friends of the Dunes and the Bureau of Land Management Arcata Field office staff coordinated Thursday's event which was part of the Kids Ocean Day education program. Kids Ocean Day is organized statewide by the California Coastal Commission. The Humboldt County event is part of a series of Kids Ocean Day Cleanups at six beaches along the California coast. Prior to the event, students received classroom presentations the ocean, coastal diversity, and the importance of keeping our coast clean and healthy.
“We are excited to celebrate our 10th Ocean Day event in Humboldt County,” said Suzie Fortner, Friends of the Dunes Education Director.
“In the classroom students have learned about litter, marine debris, and invasive species. But Ocean Day is not just about presenting these environmental problems, it is about solutions and taking action. Today the kids got their hands dirty and did something to help the environment, this is the perfect opportunity for kids to get outside and make a difference. The take home message, both for students and for everyone who sees the image, is that we only have one big world ocean, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of it.”
“The students and teachers who participate in this program are leading the way to a more sustainable world,” said Steve Kinsey, Chair of the California Coastal Commission. “They are coastal stewards, caring for the beach and raising awareness. I hope the people who see their aerial art design in the sand will be inspired by their example and heed their message: that we have only one ocean, it is finite, and our lives depend upon each of us doing our part to help take care of it.” The Coastal Commission coordinates the program statewide and provides financial support from the Whale Tail License Plate Fund.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Arcata Field Office is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands, and mineral programs on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California. The Area includes the 60,000 acre King Range National Conservation Area and the 7,472 acre Headwaters Forest Reserve.
The California Coastal Commission is the statewide coordinator of the Kids’ Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup, the year-round Adopt-A-Beach program, and Coastal Cleanup Day. All of these programs are funded by the generous support of the Whale Tail License Plate Fund. Over 220,000 plates have been sold since 1996, raising more than $22 million dollars for marine education and protection. For more information about the California Coastal Commission’s programs and how to buy a Whale Tail Plate, call (800) COAST-4U or visit www.coastforyou.org.