by Melanie Camp.
One of the trashier events planned for this year’s Venice Pride weekend was the Beach, Please! Big Beach Cleanup.
After a night of rainbows, unicorns, and dancing under the Venice Sign, some bleary-eyed revelers rolled up their sleeves and hit the beach early Sunday morning, June 3, joining Heal the Bay to clean the beach.
The biggest cleanup crew of the morning came from the British Consulate, which supports LGBTQ rights across the globe through the Love is Great campaign. “Since we’re both pro-environment in the UK as well as pro-LGBTQ rights we thought we’d come and support,” explained Matt Reents, head of the politics and press unit at the British Consulate in Los Angeles.
Alys Arenas, Beach Program Manager at Heal the Bay told Yo! Venice while it is good to clean the beach, it is better to cut the trash off at the source.
“We attach an educational piece to all our cleanups. So, getting the message out why trash makes it way out to the beach and what you can do to help is more important than the amount of trash you pick up,” said Arenas.
Venice locals Roy and Alex said joining a cleanup was a fun way to do good. “The idea of going out and cleaning the beach on your own is a bit overwhelming. In a group it is fun. You can share the experience,” Roy told Yo! Venice. The most surprising their group found while beach combing was a pair of ladies underpants.
Since the 1990’s, more than 1 million pounds of trash has been cleared up in cleanups along the Los Angeles County coastline. You can host a beach cleanup anytime, go to healthebay.org.