Santa Monica Conservancy Hosts South Los Angeles Youngsters for the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup Day and Nick Gabaldon Day Weekend Activities

This year’s global Coastal Cleanup Day of social action takes place, on Saturday, September 15 from 9.00 AM to noon. Santa Monica Conservancy educators will host youngsters participating in the Passport to Success LA2018: Life at the Beach Series activities from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center. The Center has been a partner organization in recruitment of youngsters for the program participation from South Los Angeles communities for activities of education, exploration and fun at the beach. The innovative program engages youngsters in heritage and nature education, environmental justice concepts, and civic action to expose them to future employment opportunities intersecting with beach recreation. In 2018, SM Conservancy sponsored four field trips, one of which was Nick Gabaldón Day (Saturday, June 2), and the last, Coastal Cleanup Day.

Since 2012 the SM Conservancy’s team has been a coordinator for Santa Monica’s Bay Street beach/Inkwell monument site as a location of Coastal Cleanup Day, an international movement comprised of local communities and organization programming for the volunteer event to help create a cleaner environment. SM Conservancy again, joins Santa Monica College, Heal the Bay, the L.A. Black Underwater Explorers and other organizations, to participate in a social action collaboration to educate the public about our diverse heritage, the African American experience at this location, and concern for our watershed and the precious California oceanfront.

On Coastal Cleanup Day, site captains will help educate volunteers about pollution challenges,  water clean issues, while all will 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 show volunteers photographs of the sea life creatures they are helping to live by participating in the day’s clean up activity.

In addition to the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day activities at Santa Monica’s Bay Street beach/Inkwell monument site, the youngsters participating in the SM Conservancy’s Passport to Success LA2018 program will visit Malibu’s famous Surfrider Beach, part of the recent National Register listed, Malibu Historic District to learn about its history and ecosystem.

The sunny beach weather, and all the activities on the sand at Santa Monica’s Bay Street beach/Inkwell monument and at the SM Pier Aquarium on Nick Gabaldón Day 2018 provided a wholesome day of new experiences and fun for the South Los Angeles and other area youngsters. This year, two days of new activities were added to the signature celebrational programming. On Friday, June 1, the documentary film, “La Maestra (The Teacher),” was screened with filmmaker Elizabeth Pepin Silva on hand for an interview with a student and Q&A with the audience in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The programming continued on Sunday, June 3, with a public conversation with The Critical Surf Studies Reader contributors Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee, Krista Comer, Kevin Dawson and Dina Gilio-Whitaker, and “La Maestra” filmmaker Elizabeth Pepin Sliva, moderated by historian Alison Rose Jefferson at the Santa Monica Annenberg Community Beach House. Learn more about and see photographs of the 2018 Nick Gabaldón Day weekend activities here.

The city of Santa Monica officially recognized in 2008 the Bay Street and Ocean Front Walk site for its significance as a place of communal pleasure and contestation where during the nation’s Jim Crow era (1900s–1960s) African Americans challenged racism and class structures to enjoy this beach. Additionally recognized at this site is Nick Gabaldón, the first documented surfer of African-American 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.

See you at Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, September 15 at Santa Monica’s Bay Street beach/Inkwell monument site, near Lifeguard Tower 20 (103 Bay Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405). Park at Lot 4 South (enter at Bicknell Street). For more information on the global cleanup event and registration, go to Heal the Bay/Coastal Cleanup Day 2018.

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