Kids Ocean Day founder Michael Klubock shares some insight about a special day, which took place May 15.
When I first started Kids Ocean Day back in 1994, I knew a few things. First and foremost, I knew that I loved the ocean and wanted to protect it. I knew I was a pretty good teacher, having taught everything from sailing in Club Med to appraising real estate (my day job in those days). But how to organize 2,500 kids, teachers and volunteers in one massive beach cleanup and aerial art formation? Not a clue.
Over the next 21 years, I figured it out. With the support of the California Coastal Commission, I created the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education to teach school kids about how litter flows from our neighborhoods to the ocean, where it harms marine life and pollutes our natural resources. Kids Ocean Day is the crowning glory of the year-long assembly program. It’s where the lessons come to life. By bringing Los Angeles school children to the beach, we put them in touch with nature, while instilling good habits and stewardship that can last a lifetime. The wonder and beauty of the coast, combined with a mission to protect the natural world, is a profound experience. I see it on their faces every year and every year it moves me.
I should take a moment to say that Kids Ocean Day wouldn’t be possible without the generous financial support of the City of Los Angeles, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful and Spectral Q, as well as the California Coastal Commission, which coordinates the program statewide and provides proceeds from the Whale Tail License Plate Fund. My friend John Quigley is the mastermind behind the stunning aerial art. And of course, there are the kids. Where would we be without them?
Kids Ocean Day is a way to show kids that their actions—both good and bad—have an impact. That’s a lesson worth learning at any age. Eighty percent of the pollution in the sea comes from the land as the result of runoff. We can all do something about that. Simple things like disposing of litter, picking up after your dog or joining a beach cleanup can make a huge difference.