live / 2020

Stand Up for the Ocean

Stand Up for the Ocean

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by The SeaChange Agency

The SeaChange Agency’s “Project Stand Up for The Ocean” reduces LA’s water pollution by increasing the amount of trash removed from the Santa Monica Bay this year by 400%. The project also prevents future water pollution by educating & empowering hundreds of underserved youth and young adults to stand up on paddle boards and become the environmental activists of tomorrow, leading this work to 2050 and beyond. #WeSaveTheOceans #WeSaveTheWorld #WeSaveOurselves

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

This project is needed because there are 208 impaired waterbodies in LA. To bring this to fewer than 10 by 2050, all Angelenos must be involved, especially youth to continue the work. Our agency has been organizing cleanups & educating youth in schools for a decade. Yet many youth do not attend traditional schools & miss chances to get involved. We decided to take on this expanded project to close the access gap & empower underserved youth outside of traditional schools, including charter schools; alternatives-to-incarceration; & formerly gang-involved programs.

As of today, the world’s ocean is filled with approximately 165 million tons of plastic trash. We must act now to remove existing trash & prevent future pollution in order to stop the catastrophic prediction that there will be more plastic trash in the ocean than fish by 2050. We must act the moment COVID-19’s social isolation mandate is lifted. We must restore hope and start living our lives & saving our ocean & ourselves now

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

We are uniquely suited to take on this project for several reasons: 1) Founded in 2010 as a volunteer-run agency, we have a decade of experience reducing water pollution to improve oceanic ecosystems; 2) While other agencies may reduce water pollution, we are the only one organizing Stand Up Paddle Board Ocean Cleanups & the only one focused on engaging underserved youth; 3) We have strong partnerships to support this targeted focus, including YouthBuild, Homeboy Industries, & LA Juvenile Probation Department; 4) We have a proven track record of mobilizing communities to create change – since beginning cleanups in 2012, we have mobilized over 2,800 Angelenos through 163 cleanups, collecting 4,625 pounds of debris from LA’s waterways. (This averages 20 events, 350 people, & 578 pounds of trash each year.) With funding to support this expanded project & to hire project staff, we can increase the amount removed from our waterways by 400% in one year to 2,900 pounds.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Cleaner waters improves the quality of life for all Angelenos, including the 5,000,000 visitors to the Santa Monica Bay each year. This project reduces water pollution by removing existing trash & educating Angelenos to prevent future pollution. It activates youth to become conscientious consumers with a deeper understanding of how their choices affect the planet, so we reduce water pollution today & keep our ocean clean for generations

This project also fosters activism & improves confidence among 890 youth directly. It provides empowering experiences & broadens their perspective of what is possible. Youth feel good about themselves & their ability to create change. When we save the ocean, we save the world, & ultimately we save ourselves

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We offer fun & educational activities to: 1) reduce LA’s water pollution in the short-term through trash removal & 2) prevent future pollution in the long-term through education on ways to reduce one’s environmental footprint (e.g, refuse, reuse, recycle). Activities include Stand Up Paddle Board Ocean Cleanups; Beach Cleanups; & Site Visits for agencies offering initial assessment, action plan, ongoing support, evaluation, & follow up.

Success in the short-term will be measured by the following process indicators by 7/2021:

  • Engage 420 youth in 940 hours of ocean cleaning through 44 Paddle Board Ocean Cleanups
  • Engage 470 youth in 750 hours of beach cleaning through 8 Beach Cleanups
  • Evaluate 3 youth-serving organizations through 9 site visits

Success in the longer-term will be measured by the following impact indicators by 7/2021:

  • Reduced water pollution: Remove 2900 pounds of debris from the Santa Monica Bay
  • Youth engagement: Triple the # of youth engaged in environmental activism from 260 last year to 890
  • Individual-level sustainable change: 50% of youth surveyed report an increase in their sense of power to create change
  • Individual-level continued activism: 50% of youth surveyed report an increase in knowledge of how their actions impact the ocean & an increased intent to change behaviors to reduce pollution
  • Organizational-level improved environmental footprint: End-of-year evaluation assessments document a sustainable 25% reduction in waste among all 3 organizations

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Water pollution

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Communications support
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation