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Hundreds of Students to Create Aerial Art for Kids Ocean Day on May 21

  • Coastkeeper to host annual cleanup with underserved youth in Orange County
  • Celebration to teach kids the importance of the environment and why they need to protect it
  • This year marks Coastkeeper’s 20th anniversary and 11th year as Orange County organizer for Kids Ocean Day

ORANGE COUNTY – May 1, 2019 – To celebrate Kids Ocean Day on May 21, more than 1,350 students from underserved schools across Orange County will spend the day putting their passion into action by removing trash from the sand at Huntington State Beach. Afterward, the group will have their photo taken from hundreds of feet above as they gather to form a unique whale design shape and the event’s slogan, “Protect What You Love.”

The statewide Kids Ocean Day celebration reaches children in underserved and inland schools without access to California’s beaches. By educating students on the connection of natural spaces, the annual program empowers the next generation of advocates to care for the region’s environment.

“This is our biggest Kids Ocean Day yet,” said Dyana Peña, Coastkeeper’s educational director. “This year’s message of ‘Protect What You Love’ truly speaks to what this event is about. These kids rarely get the chance to interact with these natural spaces and once they do, they understand why we need to protect them and that they have the power to do so.”

Kids Ocean Day is part of the California Coastal Commission’s Adopt-A-Beach School Assembly Program, a series of assemblies that teach students the connection between urban neighborhoods and oceans through storm drains. These lessons show students the importance of recycling and litter reduction to protect our environment. In addition to the cleanup happening in Orange County, similar events will take place at five other beaches in cities along the California coast including San Diego, Humboldt and San Francisco.

“It’s natural for us to protect what we love, like our families and our homes,” said Jack Ainsworth, executive director of the California Coastal Commission. “These kids are showing the ocean some love and appreciation and encouraging us to follow their lead. They understand that our home doesn’t end at our doorstep and that we also need to tend to our wider home—the environment where we all live—since we depend on the ocean being healthy, and the ocean depends on us to keep it that way.”

Students will clean up Huntington State Beach beginning at 9 a.m., then gather for the aerial art creation at 11 a.m. For the rest of the afternoon, students will enjoy fun in the sun and waves to appreciate the coastal environment. To pull off an event this large, Coastkeeper draws in 80-100 volunteers from the community.

Kids Ocean Day is made possible by the California Coastal Commission with additional sponsorship from the Orange County Community Foundation and The California State Parks Foundation.


20 YEARS OF ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: For twenty years, Southern California residents have relied on Orange County Coastkeeper to be their leading voice in protecting clean water. The organization works collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. Coastkeeper achieves this through innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 236 different independent programs across 29 countries. For more information, visit or call 714-850-1965.