By Cesar Hernandez / Staff Writer

Volunteers from LBCC and around the world will gather Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon to clean up beaches.

Heal the Bay has made coastal cleanup day its mission, to gather people from all places and clean up beaches, kayak sites and inland locations. Shuntece Laurant, 21, a criminology major, said, “Coastal clean-up day is an important day. Each person can make a difference in picking up a few pieces of trash.”

As the 29th national coastal cleanup day, “The largest volunteer day on the planet” gets closer, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles County and the LBCC Viking volunteer program are taking the lead role to clean up 50 areas.  In last year’s coastal cleanup day, 63,000 people volunteered to clean 50 to 60 sites. Teila Robertson, Student life coordinator, describes the initial feeling she got seeing the beaches that needed to be cleaned: “It’s unfortunate when you see that beaches are not clean. Coming from the islands, where the beach is like your second home, coming back and see that the beaches are not as cared for is a sad view.” In all, 73,000 pounds of trash and 144 pounds of waste were removed from beaches last year. Marissa Maggio, coastal cleanup day coordinator, said, “We hope to break last year’s goal, but we have to remember it’s all about saving the earth and having fun with it.”

Many students describe the event as rewarding and challenging, as Maggio, said, “Our goal is to have as many people possible come in and volunteer in this event where everyone makes a difference.”

Maggio mentioned the sense of gratitude that is felt once the task has been completed. “Volunteers leave with a sense of accomplishment that their help was put to a great cause. Volunteers leave with a look of joy on their face knowing that they have helped their home.”

Students may contact Maggio at (310)451-1500 or mmaggio@healthebay.org for more info.