Environmental watchdog Heal the Bay announced Tuesday that it is expanding the concept of Earth Day to Earth Month, participating in nearly 50 events countywide in April.

The Santa Monica-based nonprofit has designed a series of outreach programs for schools, businesses and community organizations looking to preserve and improve neighborhoods, coastal waters, rivers, creeks and beaches.

Beyond providing education at many festivals and tablings, Heal the Bay is hosting several volunteer events that could draw thousands of participants. Individuals, families and groups are welcome to attend the following events:

• Earth weekend at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

What: Clean up the beach for free admission, all exhibits are open plus face painting and arts and crafts

Where: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, 1600 Ocean Front Walk

When: Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Nothin’ But Sand beach cleanup

What: Beach cleanup in Santa Monica open to all

Where: Santa Monica Beach at Tower 1550, 1600 Ocean Front Walk

When: Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon

• Big Saturday beach cleanup

What: Beach cleanup in Venice open to all

Where: Venice Beach at the breakwater, 2100 Ocean Front Walk

When: Saturday, May 1, 10 a.m. to noon

• Healthy Neighborhood cleanup

What: L.A. River cleanup in partnership with Pacific American Volunteer Association

Where: Taylor Yard, the southeast end of the access road off of San Fernando Road

When: Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. to noon

For a complete list of all Earth Month activities and participation opportunities, visit healthebay.org.

Earth Day is April 22.

Heal the Bay is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.

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