University Prep Value High School

Heal the Bay and other opportunities you can help your beach

On Sept. 17, University Prep Value attended a beach cleanup at Venice Beach. We partnered with Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization that helps protect and preserve all Southern California coastal waters and watersheds.

We got to Venice Beach early in the morning and it was really hot. We made a line to register to get our supplies and made a group of five members. They provided us with T-shirts, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Once we got our gloves, we were told what to pick up and the things we would expect like multiple cigarette buds. We had a list where we would be marking down the trash we found and at the end, we would weigh our trash bag.

While picking up the trash we found forks, plastic bottle caps, paper, rubber, cans, food takeout containers and mostly cigarette buds. We cleaned up for about 1 hour.

At around 11:30 a.m. we finished up and got a ticket to get our sandwich and some salad. They had big containers where we were able to refill our water bottles with ice-cold water. We all had a great time and took many great pictures. We also met students from other schools and some members from Heal the Bay.

When working with Heal the Bay, not only do you help protect the ocean but you learn about beach trash and its consequences. Plastic nets can be found at the beach and birds can get their beaks stuck onto them. Little fish tend to confuse plastic bags thinking it’s food. Cigarette buds are a big no because if a fish eats it, they will never get hungry again since their stomach is the same size as a cigarette bud.

Besides Heal the Bay, there are many opportunities you can get involved in helping the marine life such as aquadopt, internships or becoming a member of an aquarium.

The aquadopt is a way to adopt a sea animal like a jelly fish, octopus, or a sea star. When you adopt a sea animal, you’ll be helping out the aquarium with costs maintaining it, learn more about the animal you adopted, and can even qualify for free visits to that aquarium. There’s a donation you must make in order to adopt.

You can get an internship at a local aquarium get trained to help out. The reason you get trained is to know what to say to the visitors/guests and the safety rules that will need to be followed.

When you become a member at an aquarium you pay a membership fee, but you get free magazines and are invited to special events.

We were really glad to partner with Heal the Bay and give back to our community.