Kids Ocean Day returns with a fun look at ocean education

0
229

With summer slowly rolling in, it’s never been a better time to learn about the nature that surrounds us.

Kids Ocean Day started in Malibu, California before expanding to a statewide day of ocean education.”

“This is the 19th that it’s been happening and Friends of the Dunes has been doing it since the early 2000. We collaborate with the Bureau of Land Management to host it up here on the north coast,” education manager Emily Baxter said.

800 students will converge on the south spit of Humboldt Bay at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area.

To prepare for the day, Baxter has been visiting classrooms from Trinidad to Hydesville.

“The whole program is focused on marine debris, which is ocean trash, so we talk about how we have amazing biodiversity of our oceans and our coast,” Baxter said.

Marine debris has been an issue along the coast for years, affecting the creatures that live in our ocean.

On the surface, students involved will also learn about the non-profit’s mission to help restore the dunes.

“There’s usually a little bit of sadness because there are animals that are harmed by ocean debris,” Baxter said. “But then we get excited talking about solutions. We talk about ways that we can reduce the impact of human trash in the oceans.”

Yet the most exciting part is the grand finale, assembling 800 students for a massive aerial photo in honor of the festivities.

“They get to sit in this formation and wait for a plane to fly overhead, and when it flies over, takes their picture. It can take up to 45 minutes with 800 kids. You can imagine it’s a lot of design work and implementation.”

That’s why they need adult volunteers to help with the project. Those interested can call 707-444-1397 to sign up or more information.

The theme of this year’s kids ocean day is “Make Ripples.”

“This year, we’re focusing on salmon with the recent dam removals happening and them being such an important species up here in the north coast for the local ecosystem and people. We wanted to focus on them this year,” Baxter said.