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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

PAW Club helps clean Santa Monica beach

    By Annie Phun

    Editor in Chief

      Partnered with Heal the Bay, an environmental program stationed in Santa Monica that does monthly beach cleanups, Gabrielino’s Protecting Animal Welfare (PAW) Club journeyed to Santa Monica Beach to help pick up trash laying on its shores.

      Originally founded in 2017, PAW Club’s goal is to promote the general welfare of California’s animal community. Junior Sabrina Ling started it in order to increase awareness on the effect humans have on wildlife.

      “All of the trash that [the club] picked up is frequently mistaken as food by wildlife like birds or fish when it gets pulled into the ocean,” stated Ling. “So by [participating in this cleanup], we were able to help save lives.”

      While cleaning up the beach, students had to track how much trash they picked up by taking notes on a card. Participants also had to categorize the trash into groups like plastic, styrofoam, cigarette butts, and others.

      “The most challenging part was having to walk through sand for two hours and constantly having to bend down whenever we found trash,” stated junior Alice Li. “Sometimes, when we think we spotted trash it ends up being a seashell or something that’s not trash.”

      The weight of trash added up in the end totaled to a few tons. Heal the Bay utilizes this information to campaign for legislation that keeps harmful plastics out of our oceans.

      “I hope the [members that participated] feel more motivated to help clean up our community and encourage others to do the same,” stated Ling. “And hopefully they realized that even volunteering to pick up and throw away trash, no matter how gross it sounds, can be fun and rewarding.”

      After the event, volunteers were given free admission to the Santa Monica Aquarium, where they were able to learn more about marine life and the effects humans have on animals living in the ocean.
      In the future, PAW Club wants to have more students involved in protecting California’s animal community and teach them the importance of doing so.

      While they are not holding anymore events for this school year, the club will be hosting volunteer opportunities at fundraisers such as the Elephant Run and Strut Your Mutt next year. The Santa Monica beach cleanup will still be held as well.

      “These events allow us to work together towards a common goal while still having a fun time,” stated junior Jenny Kuang.

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    PAW Club helps clean Santa Monica beach