Local nonprofit Heal The Bay is encouraging Santa Monicans to publicly support science and science education at an upcoming protest.
This year scientists, educators and local organizations are making a statement by participating in the March for Science event on Earth Day, April 22.
Los Angeles is anticipating over 50,000 participants at the March for Science Los Angeles event in Pershing Square. That means it will be the second largest of the 400+ March for Science events happening worldwide on Earth Day. Coming in first is the National March for Science in Washington D.C
“We are marching for science and policy,” said March for Science Los Angeles, Lead Organizer, and Communications Director, Alex Bradley. “ Science itself is generally separate from politics and science should be playing an integral role in policy.”
The march is meant to represent a gathering of people standing up for science, to serve our environment. Many organizations participating are advocating for science education, and research funding.
According to the March for Science official website, there are now an estimated 170 organizations that have joined as partners for the event.
With two weeks left until the march, there is a total of 480 satellite marches scheduled worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. There are 358 marches in the United States, and so far 35 marches in California alone.
Why the sudden urge to stand up and march for science?
Last month the White House presented their budget proposal. The recent budget proposal mentions budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins.
According to USA Today, Trump’s proposal would cut the EPA by $2.6 billion, or by 31% of this year’s outlay, and cut 3,200 jobs.
So the question is, was the march planned to protest new President Donald Trump’s proposed budget plan?
Bradley explains the March for Science event was planned before the budget proposal was presented last month. Although the proposed cuts have been a huge driver and motivator to have the event succeed.
If the budget plan gets approved it can affect local non-profit, Heal the Bay. The EPA programs would suffer complete elimination, which would include the Beach Grant Program. Meaning there would be no weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country and would cut many other organizations that make positive contributions to the environment.
The EPA funds California for beach water quality monitoring,” said Heal the Bay Vice President, Sarah Sikich. “If cuts are made, California would get a lot less funding and it could threaten the public health”
In response to the recent attack on science, Heal the Bay gathered a few local researchers and scientist to march on Earth Day, and are inviting locals to join them.
“This is Heal the Bay taking a stand and encouraging California and Los Angeles to continue to invest in Science,” said Sikich.
March for Science Los Angeles believes that for policymakers to take note of an issue it must first be noteworthy to the media. Los Angeles is a perfect place to bring media, as the city is filled with people, and with large numbers the march will cause attention and drive the media’s interest to effect change.
Tickets are not required to attend any of the marches, but participants are encouraged to register online to help organizers track attendance numbers.
Getting there from Santa Monica can be pretty easy. You can drive but parking at Pershing Square is expensive and can be difficult to navigate. You have to option to take the Rally Bus. The Rally Bus to March for Science is a service that provides transportation to Pershing Square in LA. They offer round trip and one way bus travel from a Rally Point near on Sat. Apr. 22. Download the Rally Bus app and get real time updates and bus locations. They can pick you up at Sears on Colorado, if you purchase your ticket.
You can also meet at 17th/SMC Expo line parking for coffee and bagels provided by Heal the Bay.
March is at Pershing Square. The event opens with various speakers that begins at 9 a.m. The march will begin at 11 a.m. and when done marching participants are welcomed to explore the Science Expo.
“It is important for people to show their passion and this will show the importance for science,” said Sikich.