These kids learned in class about the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how it's hurting the ocean's delicate ecosystem. While that oil spill is not something they personally can control, they are learning today what they can do. They're out there, cleaning up Ocean Beach with a purpose.
"We're picking up trash at the beach to help the earth," said Ulloa Elementary school 3rd grader Zoe Bruce.
"Why save the environment?" asked ABC7's Teresa Garcia.
"To keep everyone safe and to keep the environment clean," said Ulloa Elementary school student D. Dorzia.
About 500 elementary school students bared the wind and rain Thursday morning to help clean up Ocean Beach and publicize the need to protect marine environments.
Students from schools in San Francisco and Marin counties joined in this 17th annual Kids' Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup -- the California Coastal Commission helped organize similar events at other beaches statewide to honor "World Ocean Day." Before the cleanup, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center gave educational presentations at the children's schools -- their goal to empower them with the message that they individually can make a difference to protect the oceans.
"For this program, we're talking about marine debris, which is a huge problem for Marin life, and that very small micro-debris, the very small pieces of trash that people walk past -- so that's something these kids can really do something about," said Wendy Dalia of the Richardson Bay Audubon Center.
After the cleanup, the kids will form a giant albatross on the sand and spell out the words "sustain life" on the beach - they will use their bodies to do this. Their message is about the need for people to take action to protect marine life.
The reason they're forming that bird is that the black-footed albatross is a local bird -- in danger from eating the plastic.