New Year's Blessing

Today's guest blogger is Margy Feldman, Heal the Bay's director of advancement.

The fog and chill hung in the air as I arrived for a recent morning walk in Manhattan Beach. I found it difficult to see the breakers across the dark sand. Slowly the fog began to lift, the sand began to dry and as I stared into the vast and luminous ocean, the horizon finally became clearer. The sun fought through the misty sky. It was a new day on the coast of Southern California. More and more people began hitting the strand as the South Bay woke up.

The sun began to warm me, and although I had my iPod with me, it was more pleasing to hear the sound of waves crashing – the steady and forever force, clearing my head and reminding me how lucky I am to live so close to the ocean. I reflected on cherished days relaxing on the beach, reading a book, exercising, playing with my family and swimming where the water is clean and safe.

I grew up enjoying the beaches of Long Island and the Jersey Shore. And my husband and I raised our son on the sand at Redondo Beach. My fondest memories have been made on beaches. If you flip through my family albums you would think we spent our whole lives basking in the salt air. Recently, I joined Heal the Bay to help advance their financial support, fundraising and friend-raising. I was attracted by the incredible work the organization has done leading the efforts in Southern California, locally and even nationally to protect our oceans. The mission is so compelling. As a mother, nurturing what we all love drew me to the cause. 

The extra bonus for me is Heal the Bay’s commitment to education. I’m getting steeped in the many programs Heal the Bay offers to children all over Southern California, from kindergarten through high school.  Amazingly, countless children in areas like Compton and East L.A. have never had the opportunity.  We help Title 1 schools bring kids that have never been to the beach to our shorelines.

Our programs not only introduce these kids to the feeling of sand between their toes and the awesomeness of the never-ending waves, but they also teach them to be better environmental stewards. They learn about what causes pollution, how it impacts sea life and how to safeguard the sea for generations of children to come.

If you are reading this, it’s because you are part of this extraordinary movement to protect our oceans, preserve our beaches and ensure that our sea life flourishes. It is truly a Happy New Year knowing that your generosity of time and dollars continue to help make this possible for limitless years to come!