On Saturday, September 16 from 9am to noon, this year’s international Coastal Cleanup Day takes place, with Santa Monica’s Bay Street beach/Inkwell monument as a site of this global movement comprised of local communities and organization programming for the volunteer event. Santa Monica College, the Santa Monica Conservancy, Heal the Bay, the L.A. Black Underwater Explorers and other organizations, again participate in a social action collaboration to educate the public about our diverse heritage, the African American experience at this location, and general concern for our watershed and the precious California oceanfront.
Heal the Bay site captains will help educate volunteers about clean water issues and make a dent in removing trash and debris from the beach site. Santa Monica Conservancy docents will share with volunteers the history of this unique site and its layers of significance as a place of heritage as well as of nature. L.A. Black Underwater Explorers will be showing volunteers photographs of the sea life creatures they are helping to live by participating in the day’s clean up activity.
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 and plaque were 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. You can read more about the African American trailblazers and the significance of Santa Monica Bay Street Beach here.
Location: Bay Street/Inkwell Monument, near Lifeguard Tower 20, 103 Bay Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Parking Lot 4 South, Enter at Bicknell Street
For more information, go to Heal the Bay/Coastal Cleanup Day 2017.