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May 31, 2022

552 Students Celebrate Kids Ocean Day at Huntington Beach

  • Students from nine elementary schools around inland Orange County participate in Kids Ocean Day, a statewide celebration to protect our oceans.
  • After picking up 115.14 pounds of trash, the students formed a message seen from the sky.
  • Led by Orange County Coastkeeper, this is the first in-person Kids Ocean Day celebration in three years.

HUNTINGTON BEACH – May 31, 2022 – Today, 552 students and 76 volunteers from inland Orange County removed trash from Huntington State Beach. This was part of a statewide celebration to protect the world’s oceans called Kids Ocean Day. After the busy Memorial Day weekend, the students picked up 115.14 pounds of trash off the sand. Following the cleanup, the students created a human aerial artwork display, organizing to form the message “Share Joy.”

Kids Ocean Day focuses on reaching students from communities that face disproportionate systemic barriers to access our coastline. By giving them the opportunity to interact with the coastal environment, the annual program educates the next generation of ocean advocates and empowers them to value and protect our shoreline.

The event is organized by local nonprofit Orange County Coastkeeper and sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. There are multiple Kids Ocean Day sites across California’s coast. This year’s Kids Ocean Day theme is “Discovering Joy in Nature.”

Every participating student will get a physical postcard with a picture of the aerial art they helped create. This powerful demonstration of environmental stewardship aims to inspire these students to take further action for years to come.

Most of the trash picked up consisted of straws, bottle caps, cigarette butts, and microplastics. The scariest trash found was two switchblades. Luckily, this was handled by professionals and not the students.


“By providing meaningful experiences on our coast, we hope to inspire and empower youth to protect our oceans. But especially as we reemerge from the pandemic, we hope they ‘discover the joy in nature’ and hold these memories with them as they continue on their journey towards stewardship.”
— Michaela Coats, Orange County Coastkeeper Education Director

“It’s so wonderful that we are able to hold this event once again. The students who take part in Kids Ocean Day are demonstrating how to be good stewards of our precious coast and ocean, and reminding us of the joy of connecting with nature. They are truly role models.”
— Donne Brownsey, Chair of the California Coastal Commission

“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day at the beach. The students were so eager to get on the sand. We hope today will inspire the students to continue to act for the environment in their community.”
— Dyana Peña, Orange County Coastkeeper Deputy Director of Programs


ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, which supports over 350 different independent programs across 47 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. Coastkeeper addresses water issues impacting Riverside and San Bernardino counties through our Inland Empire Waterkeeper and Coachella Valley Waterkeeper programs. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit or call 714-850-1965.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION: The California Coastal Commission is committed to protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally sustainable development, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination. The Kids’ Adopt-A-Beach program is part of the Commission’s effort to raise public awareness of marine and coastal resources and promote coastal stewardship. For more information about the Commission’s programs and how to buy a Whale Tail License Plate, visit