On Saturday April 21, thousands will be drawn to Pacifica to take action in honor of sea turtles.
The Pacifica Beach Coalition is hosting its annual Earth Day event, featuring a morning of cleanups and habitat restoration projects followed with an afternoon of talks by renowned sea turtle experts and local dignitaries, live music, family activities, and exhibits to raise awareness about these ancient reptiles.
“This event will help sea turtles directly by preventing thousands of pounds of trash and debris from reaching the ocean, and indirectly by educating the community about sea turtles and the threats they face,” said Dr. Chris Pincetich with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, a speaker at the event. “In areas like Pacifica, which borders the new leatherback sea turtle critical habitat, cleanups such as these are particularly important.”
Dr. Pincetich is referring to the recent National Marine Fisheries Service designation of habitat for endangered leatherback sea turtles off the U.S. west coast, including 16,910 square miles off California’s coast. In addition, a current state bill (AB1776) proposes to designate the leatherback sea turtle as California’s official marine reptile. During the celebration, Pacifica’s schoolchildren will be presenting legislators with a collection of letters supporting this bill.
From 9am to 11:30am, volunteers will take part in environmental service projects such as restoring native coastal plant communities, tending community gardens, and removing trash from local beaches, bluffs, creeks, streets, parking lots, and public places. A map of all projects can be found on the Pacifica Beach Coalition website.
The “Be Turtley Cool, Take Action” celebration will take place from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Renowned sea turtle experts, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and Dr. Chris Pincetich, will help kick off the party. Other special guests include U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Assemblyman Jerry Hill, County Supervisor Don Horsley, and Pacifica’s mayor, Pete DeJarnatt. The world’s youngest rock band, Haunted By Heroes, will be performing, along with musical guests Ian and the Humpbacks and Jim Ocean.