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Lions Lend a Helping Hand

Sept. 20, 2007

The LMU women's tennis team participated in the 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 15 as part of the 50,000 volunteers on over 750 beaches statewide.

The girls volunteered their Saturday morning at Toes Beach in Playa del Rey, picking up trash and debris along the shoreline. The team helps at this event every year as a way to assist in making a difference on the California beaches. Head Tennis Coach Jamie Sanchez sees his team's participation as more then just doing community service, "It is about me as a coach, being able to communicate to young people the merit of doing things for other individuals, and in this case the beach".

It is estimated that a total of 800,000 pounds of trash was cleaned up between Mexico and the Oregon border, including cigarette butts, bits of syrofoam and unusual items such as a litter of puppies and a bottle of beetles. For the past five years, California Coastal Cleanup Day has shown steady growth in the number of volunteers and the amount of debris picked up. It is considered by the California Coastal Commission to be the premiere event for the marine environment. "It is essentially about awareness," Sanchez says. "It is your own self evaluation of what you do with your trash that makes a big difference. By doing the small things you're making an impact in so many ways".

The goal of California Coastal Cleanup Day is to not only cleanup the coast, but to make people conscious of where they are throwing their trash. "60-80 percent of trash on the beach comes from inland. By being involved in Coastal Cleanup Day it is showing the girls how important it is to pay attention to things outside of tennis and LMU".

California Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual event that takes place on the third Saturday of September. For more information visit www.coastal.ca.gov.