Life’s a Beach

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The Venice Pride 2018: Beach, Please! Big Beach Cleanup took place around the rainbow lifeguard tower. Photo: Micheal Ray.

By Michael Ray

On Saturday June 2, Venice Beach received a makeover thanks to the hearts and hands of locals, drag queens and the collaborative efforts of Heal the Bay and Venice Pride. With a network of storm drains that release directly into the ocean, homeless encampments across the boardwalk and countless tourists visiting from around the city and the world, litter on the beach can be a source of environmental blight for beachgoers. The Venice Pride 2018: Beach, Please! Big Beach Cleanup was an effort to give back to the beach community.

Lifeguard Captain A.J. Lester suggests picking up at least three pieces of trash when visiting the beach. Photo: Michael Ray.

Lifeguard Captain A.J. Lester, who was patrolling the beach said that he “tries to avoid using single use plastic” which includes straws, to go utensils, single use water bottles as well as plastic bags. As a lifeguard and surfer added he added, “this is our home…we teach our lifeguards to cleanup around our towers.” On Venice Beach there are trash bins approximately every 50 feet. To curb plastic waste Captain Lester suggested switching to an aluminum, stainless steel or other reusable containers.

Attending the beach cleanup was Keisha, who was visiting from Mexico, she said that the cleanup was a good experience because she met new people. She was a first year attendee and was looking forward to attending the Venice Pride Sign Lighting and Block Party later in the evening. Venice Pride founder Grant Turck said that the Beach Please Cleanup was an “astronomical success, we picked up over a hundred pounds of garbage from the beach; from plastic straws, [to] wood, we even [picked up] a huge, gigantic electrical cord.” More than 30 people volunteered. “It was an awesome sight to see,” Turck concluded.

Homeless encampments, and high volume tourism can contribute to beach litter. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

The Beach Please Cleanup, hosted at the rainbow lifeguard tower on Brook Avenue, was part of a weekend long series of events hosted by Venice Pride.

For more information visit: https://venicepride.org

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