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Humboldt County students clean up the dunes

Busses lined the beach Thursday morning as 800 elementary and middle school children took over the dunes.

“They are removing invasive beach grass and they are also cleaning up trash,” said Friends of the Dunes Education Director, Suzie Fortner. “But the main point is that they're out here today to help out the environment and do something good for our planet.”

Celebrating oceans day, students from 16 schools across Humboldt County worked to clean the beach. The Friends of the Dunes non-profit, as well as the Bureau of Land Management organized the event. Students had been preparing for the clean up all year long.

“Today is kind of the big celebration of the end of this education project and all of these students that are here have received classroom presentations beforehand so they learned about marine debris and they learned about invasive plants,” Fortner said.

To help the kids have fun while helping the environment, clean up was made into a competition. The school with the biggest pile of European Beach grass was crowned the winner.

And after a day at the beach, the students were organized into formation on the shore. In an aerial photo taken by helicopter, the children formed a pelican and a special message from the ocean.

“Its just a reminder that for one thing, we're all connected to this ocean but also that we only have one of them and its all of our jobs to take care of that ocean,” Fortner said.