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Community service in action: Athenians prepare to spend a September Saturday cleaning up a section of the Santa Monica shoreline.

Athenians adopt a beach and help Heal the Bay

A day at the beach is more than a day at the beach when you’re an Athenian.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, more than 40 Mount Saint Mary’s students and staffers volunteered to clean up trash and debris at the University’s adopted section of Santa Monica Beach. The effort removed more than 2,000 littered items from the shoreline.

“Despite the humidity and muggy weather, spending the day cleaning the beach with friends and other fellow Athenians was an amazing experience,” says Susan Cacique ’19. “I decided to participate because I knew that I could make a difference in keeping our beaches clean and improve the environment for our community and the marine life.”

Mount Saint Mary’s Community Engagement team coordinated the cleanup day in partnership with Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy and clean. The Mount has served as a community partner with Heal the Bay going back to 2005.

The University’s connection to the coast is strong. In addition to community engagement events, Mount Saint Mary’s Biological Sciences and Biochemistry programs often conduct field research in the nearby Pacific. The Mount’s Chalon Campus, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, overlooks the section of the beach recently cleaned up by volunteers.

To learn more about local volunteer opportunities, students, alums, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the 2015 Community Engagement Fair at the University’s Doheny Campus, on Sept. 29. You can also visit the Community Engagement team’s site online for more info, and view a list of current Mount Saint Mary’s service opportunities on the University’s GiveGab page.

For those who are looking for another coastal cleanup chance, this coming Saturday, Sept. 19, is California Coastal Cleanup Day. Visit the day’s site map to find a spot where volunteers are needed.

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