Join Earth

Make a

Ocean Day Adopt a Beach Program

Friday May 21st 2004

8:00 am till 1 pm

Huntington State Beach

More than 7,000 kids throughout the United States and in Canada commemorated Ocean Day at the 11th Annual Kids' Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup. Cleanups took place along the Pacific Coast, stretching from Vancouver to Humboldt, San Francisco, and Monterey in northern California to San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Huntington Beach and San Diego in southern California. To view photos from other Ocean Day sites, please visit

One thousand elementary school students from Santa Ana and Garden Grove cleaned up Huntington State Beach. After the cleanup, the students took part in an aerial art exhibition. This year students formed a life preserver surrounding the earth with the words "PRESERVE OCEANS" on the life preserver. All of these students are setting an example for the rest of us to be life preservers. By participating in the beach clean up, these young people have helped to keep the beaches safe and clean, while protecting the oceans as well. By protecting the world's oceans, these students are preserving animal life, air quality, clean food sources, and human life.

The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and the California Coastal Commission started the annual event in Los Angeles in 1994. With funding from the Whale Tail License Plate, this program has expanding throughout the state. The program focuses on reaching children in underserved and inland schools. Prior to the cleanup, the program includes a series of school presentations that demonstrates why the oceans are polluted, why we should all be concerned with this problem, and what we can all do to fix the problem.

In addition to the 1,000 students who participated in the clean up, over 25 classes from the Santa Ana Unified and Anaheim City School Districts attended presentations on ocean pollution. The presentations focus on why the oceans are polluted, why we should care about them, and what we can all do to keep the oceans clean. The presentation involves a slide show and stresses that reducing and recycling are the first steps to keeping litter out of the oceans.

This year, two classes of students from Peters Elementary in Garden Grove wrote letters to the students in Canada about the presentation, the clean up, and why they like the oceans. The students who are participating in the same program in Canada wrote letters back to the Peter's students. This aspect of the program increases student engagement and builds letter writing skills. Next year, we hope to expand this aspect of the program to more students.

The California Coastal Commission is the statewide coordinator of the Kid's Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup, the year-round Adopt-A-Beach program, and Coastal Cleanup Day. All of these programs are funded by the generous support of the Whale Tail License Plate Fund. Over 80,000 plates have been sold since 1996, raising more than $4 million dollars for marine education and protection. For more information about the California Coastal Commission's programs and how to buy a Whale Tail Plate, call (800) COAST-4U or visit

List of Participating Schools in Orange County:

  • Garden Grove - O.A. Peters Elementary School
  • Santa Ana - Jefferson, Jim Thorpe Fundamental, Madison and Pio Pico Elementary Schools

List of Schools that Received Assemblies in Orange County:

  • Anaheim City School District- Franklin, Guinn, Marshall, Palm Lane, Roosevelt, Sunkist, Stoddard, Westmont Elementary Schools
  • Garden Grove- O.A. Peters Elementary School
  • Santa Ana- Jefferson, Jim Thorpe Fundamental, Madison and Pio Pico Elementary Schools

Event Supporters for Orange County:

  • Huntington State Beach and Lifeguards
  • Kona Kai
  • Sawyer and Co., Inc.
  • Sky King
  • University of California at Irvine - Social Ecology program and Student Volunteers
  • All of our wonderful volunteers!

15 buses brought students to Huntington State Beach on the morning of May 22, 2004.

Our wonderful volunteers helped the the students with their clean up.
Trash Detectives

948 students gathered on the beach.
Students leaving the design and heading for the buses

The Circle
ERF's newsletter


"In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We only love what we understand. We only understand what we are taught."
-Babia Dioum Senegalese Ecologist

230 E. 17th Street, Suite 208 Costa Mesa, CA 92627  |  Tel:(949) 645-5163  |  Fax:(949) 645-5173  |  e-mail: