Join the environmental movement this weekend.

To many environmental enthusiasts, April is otherwise known as Earth Month and every year since 1970, April 22 is designated as Earth Day.

Local non-profit Heal the Bay is expecting an estimated 2,000 volunteers this weekend to participate in their Earth Month, Nothin’ But Sand beach cleanup.

“We host a beach clean up called Nothin’ But Sand, on the third Saturday of every month,” said Heal the Bay, Beach Program Manager Alys Arenas. This month the beach clean up will be in Santa Monica, and because Earth Day is in April, this months cleanup tends to attract more people.”

Participants will help clean the beaches while learning about environmental threats and how residents and the city can protect the ocean and beach’s from pollution and marine debris.

According to the Marine Debris Database provided by Heal the Bay, the data showed the most five commonly picked up items during a beach cleanup are cigarette butts, Styrofoam items, plastic lids, plastic straws, and food wrappers. Each of these items can harm the environment and the health of beach goers.

“Last month, the Nothin’ But Sand cleanup was held at Will Rogers State Beach. The cleanup had 1,100 volunteers and removed over 400 lbs of trash,” said Arenas.

According to the California Coastal Commission’s website, 80% of the trash found in the ocean is due to land based sources and much of the trash found on beaches is linked to the thousands of visitors who travel to the coast.

Heal the Bay is an advocate for taking care of the Earth and doing what is necessary to keep it clean for future generations, which is why they host monthly beach cleanups throughout the year.

This past weekend, Orangetheory fitness studio partnered with Heal the Bay’s Adopt A Beach Program. When a group participants in the Adopt a Beach program they are committing to cleaning that beach at least three times a year.

The fitness studio invited locals and Orangetheory members to clean the Santa Monica Beach, North of the Pier.

The Earth Day event also includes some entertainment. Last year, Heal the Bay hosted a yoga session before the Earth Month cleanup. This year there will be a group meditation, along with a sand castle competition. The sandcastle competition will begin at 8:30 a.m., anyone and everyone is welcomed. To sign up, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/protect-what-you-love-sandcastle-competition-2017-tickets-32486791869 .

Nothin’ But Sand participants will receive free admission to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium that afternoon.

The cleanup will take place on April 15, and will begin at 10 a.m. and go till 12 p.m. Bags, garden gloves, water and healthy KIND snacks will be provided. Heal the Bay asks volunteers to meet at 1600 Ocean Front Walk Lifeguard Tower 1550.

For more information visit https://healthebay.org/event/nothin-but-sand-4/.

marina@smdp.com

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