This year’s global Coastal Cleanup Day takes place on Saturday, September 17. Santa Monica College, the Santa Monica Conservancy, Heal the Bay, the L.A. Black Underwater Explorers and other organizations, again collaborate to educate the public about our diverse heritage, the African American experience and concern for our watershed and the precious California oceanfront in Santa Monica at a site sometimes controversially called “the Inkwell” and for social action.
The city of Santa Monica officially recognized in 2008 the Bay Street and Oceanfront Walk site for its significance as a place of communion and contestation where during the nation’s Jim Crow era (1900s–1960s) African Americans challenged racism and class structures to enjoy the beach. Additionally recognized at this site is Nick Gabaldón, the first documented surfer of African- and Mexican- American descent, who also attended Santa Monica College. A monument plaque was installed to honor those brave African Americans’ effort in opening up leisure and public spaces for all and for their contributions to the city’s development.
Santa Monica Conservancy docents will talk with volunteers about the history of this unique site as part of the programming for the day. You can read more about the African American trailblazers and the significance of Santa Monica Bay Street Beach here.
Location: Santa Monica Beach at Bay Street, near Lifeguard Tower 20
Parking Lot 4 South, Enter at Bicknell Street
For more information, go to Heal the Bay/Coastal Cleanup Day 2016