Ocean stewards invited to join Laguna kelp clean-up

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Rich German is founder of Project O. Photo by Barbara McMurray

Laguna Beach environmentalist Rich German has organized an offshore kelp clean-up on June 5 in collaboration with a dozen other local organizations.

German will lead a group of paddlers and kayakers into the kelp to collect as much trash as possible.

“After picking up as much trash as I could, and not feeling like I made a dent, a pod of dolphins showed up,” German said in a statement. “My heart felt broken at the thought of the damage we are doing not only to their home, but to their health and that of their pups who struggle to survive the microplastics alone.”

German said he was amazed at how quickly partners rushed in to assist. This list includes Pacific Marine Mammal Rescue Center, Laguna Ocean Foundation, Laguna Bluebelt, La Vida Laguna, and Lido Paddle project.

“Within 24 hours a coalition formed of like-minded organizations. It honors me to live in and work in a place where not only the ocean comes first, but, where community thrives through volunteerism. I know our impact is greater when we join forces for a higher good.”

Kelp beds reduce greenhouse gases and increase oxygen through photosynthesis.  Another partner, sea-trees.org, will be planting 50 square feet of kelp in Los Angeles County to honor the first 50 participants in Laguna’s clean-up.

This event was also organized in recognition of World Ocean Day on June 8.

Anyone with a board or kayak is invited to meet in the Kelp Forest north of Main Beach at 8 a.m. on June 5. Sustainable bags will be provided. For any questions, or any needs to borrow a board or kayak, please direct message German on Instagram.

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