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August 29, 2013

Volunteers Help Keep La Jolla Clean and Beautiful.

Diane Castaneda

As part of our efforts to keep our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) clean, healthy and thriving, WILDCOAST joined forces with San Diego Coastkeeper and Outdoor Outreach to take volunteers to La Jolla for a day of stenciling and kayaking within the Matlahuayl Marine Protected Areas (MPA). 

Five young volunteers from the Summer Teen Center at the Miramar Air Station listened to a talk at La Jolla Shores by WILDCOAST and San Diego Coastkeeper about the ecological importance of La Jolla’s Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) and the Matlahuayl MPA. During the talk, we addressed a major threat facing our oceans: storm water pollution. Volunteers were given tips on how to prevent pollution from reaching the ocean and how pollution can affect the health of marine animals and ocean users.

After the talk, we walked to the nearest storm drains where the volunteers where given kits with paint and stencils to paint the storm drains with a “no dumping” message. 

The volunteers braved the 90-degree heat to paint eight storm drains to make sure residents of the area were aware of that all the trash, chemicals, and water from the streets will eventually reach the ocean and that they should not dump waste into the storm drains.

Volunteers and staff then took a kayaking tour of the Matlahuayl MPA where they got a chance to see marine wildlife such as sea lions, garibaldi fish, kelp and leopard sharks, which come to the MPA to nurse during the summer months.  It was a perfect, glassy day for a kayaking tour and everyone enjoyed the recreational benefits of this wonderful MPA.

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