Paddle Out for a Bag Free LA

I organized a Paddle Out to push Los Angeles toward banning the plastic bag on Saturday, November 19th. This is the press release I wrote that was published by the Surfrider Foundation on their website.


Press Release for Paddle Out for a Bag Free LA

On Saturday, November 19th, the students of the Heal the Bay Surfrider Club organized a “Paddle Out for a Bag Free LA” to protest the current state of our beaches and the poor results of recent water quality testing by the club.This Paddle Out was modeled on the annual paddles the Surfrider Foundation has held in support of cleaner water. Team Marine and the Surf Team, two other Samohi clubs, also participated. The students congregated in the water to show their support for the Plastic Bag Ban for the greater Los Angeles area and cleaner ocean water in general.

Students from the Heal the Bay Surfrider Club at Samohi. Left to Right: Shirly Rybak, Aaron Thixton, Jessica Kendall-Bar, Nora Masler, Charlotte Johnson, Cassandra Kliewer, Kalina Silverman, Vanessa Alamillo, Kia Canning, Kassia Filkins, and Mariah Saurin.

On October 5th, the first heavy rains of winter broke through the sand bar created to form a barrier between the polluted Pico-Kenter storm drain and the ocean. This led to several tons of water from our storm drains pouring onto the beach and on into the ocean. The Heal the Bay Surfrider Club runs the “Teach and Test” water testing program which provides water quality results used by various businesses in Santa Monica, to show the levels of enterococcus bacteria in the ocean water and indicate the risk of disease after exposure to it. The results that day showed that there were over ten thousand bacterial colonies in every one hundred milliliters of ocean water. This outcome has shown the direct impact LA’s trash output can have on the ocean.

Last year, Santa Monica High School’s environmental clubs worked tirelessly at establishing the Plastic Bag Ban. Through this event, the Heal the Bay Surfrider Club hopes to push Los Angeles toward following Santa Monica’s footsteps in banning plastic bags.

Co-presidents of the Heal the Bay Surfrider Club, Jessica Kendall-Bar and Charlotte Johnson, who organized the event.