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Pumped up for cleanup

Volunteer teams will help pick up trash and learn about the environment.

October 30, 2008|By Joseph Serna

When Matt Bays woke up his son and took him to the beach one Sunday morning last year, he knew his son would learn a lesson or two about the environment, but he didn’t know he’d enjoy it so much.

After all, how much fun can picking up trash be?

Well, if you join the YMCA’s Dolphin Nation’s annual beach cleanup Sunday, you might find out.

Like Bays’ son, 8-year-old Carter, it’s all in how you look at it. After Carter and hundreds of other father-and-son pairs crowded the sand north of the Balboa Pier and listened to local experts talk about pollution at the beach and what they should hunt for in the sand, Carter and his friends were off.

“He was finding all kinds of trash, it became a kind of competition among him and his friends,” the Costa Mesa father said. “He was fired up, he had never thought anything about [pollution] before ... He’d find Styrofoam and yell at me, ‘Dad! I found Styrofoam!’ ”

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Carter and his dad are just as fired up for this weekend’s event too, the second annual beach cleanup fundraiser the YMCA has done in the city. Proceeds from the event are split between the YMCA and Costa Mesa’s Share Our Selves nonprofit, which provides a variety of services to the indigent. Officials said they hope to raise more than $12,000 Sunday.

“Not only do the beaches get cleaned that day, but it instills in kids and adults alike environmental awareness,” said Gregg Crandell, co-chairman of the event. “It’s a two-fold kind of situation.”

The Dolphin Nation is the name of the local YMCA’s Y-Guide group — a kind of club or organization in which parents and kids together learn about nature and the environment. Think along the lines of the Boy or Girl scouts of America, but with greater emphasis on parent-child participation, Bays said.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday up to 300 parents and children will get on the sand and start hunting for trash before it can end up in the water, half the group heading toward The Wedge and the other half combing the sand up to the Newport Pier, Crandell said.

Several organizations are sponsoring the event, including Quicksilver, which will give away shirts to participants, and TK Burger, which will provide the food. Everything the companies use at the beach Sunday will be recycled, organizers said. For more information, visit www.ymcaoc.org/branches/ coc.php.

IF YOU GO

WHERE: Parking lot off Balboa Pier in Newport Beach.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

WHY: Cleans the beach and proceeds to go local nonprofit organizations.

INFO: www.ymcaoc.org/ branches/coc.php


JOSEPH SERNA may be reached at (714) 966-4619 or at joseph.serna@latimes.com.

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