These are unprecedented times that we live in- with each day, there are new changes and losses, and it is clear that our communities, work, and movements will encounter deep shifts as we organize to meet this moment during Covid-19. Now, more than ever, it is important to celebrate the beauty of our environment and our planet. If you or your family are looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day while safe at home, there are many options for staying involved in protecting the environment.
The first Earth Day in 1970 was organized by Senator Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) as a way to press the need for environmental laws to protect our air and water from pollution. On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans (10% of the U.S. population at the time) demonstrated peacefully in their communities and school campuses across the country to support action to protect the environment. The theme for this 50th anniversary of Earth Day is Climate Action – citizens of the world are being called upon for creative, innovative, ambitious and brave climate action solutions.
Join the City of Manhattan Beach by taking climate action while safe at home. From 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 limit your energy use by turning off all nonessential lights and appliances. You can also go above and beyond by limiting your energy use throughout the day by powering down nonessential appliances and lights. Everyone can make a difference and celebrate Earth Day!
The City and our community planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 25, 2020 at an inaugural event - the South Bay Eco Festival; however, to protect the health and safety in our community, the festival now will be a virtual event this year. Please check out the local organizations and businesses in our community working to make a greener, more sustainable and resilient world for us all on the South Bay Eco Festival website.
Join the Roundhouse Aquarium for our virtual Keep it Green, Keep it Clean @Home Edition on Wednesday, April 22nd to celebrate our planet together. What does an @ Home Edition mean? Since you cannot go to the aquarium, they want to bring the fun and education to you!
The Roundhouse Aquarium be posting on their Facebook Page every hour on the hour starting at 8:00 AM. Highlights include Earth Day tips, tank feedings, animal spotlights, crafts and more!
Please join them as we continue to celebrate Earth Day together.Earth Day Network is hosting a live event flooding the world with hope, optimism and action.
Indoor Hands-On Environmental Science Projects
Watersheds and Ocean Pollution
Where does water go when it rains? Watersheds are areas of land that receive rainwater during a storm. Some of the rain soaks into the soil and some is “shed” or runs off into creeks, streams, storm drains, rivers, lakes, and ultimately into the ocean. As this rainwater flows off roofs and paved areas like sidewalks and roadways, it picks up and carries pollutants as it travels, pollutants such as motor oil, litter, pesticides, fertilizers, and loose dirt. Here in our watersheds the rainwater runoff and pollutants are carried into storm drains connected to the street and then into our local waterbodies and the ocean. In fact, stormwater runoff is one of the most significant threats to aquatic ecosystems in the United States.
Check out this hands-on activity from PBS Kids that introduces children to watersheds by building a simple model of a watershed to see how water flows and carries pollutants through a watershed.
For a video tutorial on how to build a watershed model check out the How to Build Your Own Watershed YouTube tutorial by SeaGrant's Builders of a Better Bay campaign.
The City of Manhattan Beach and its residents have taken many steps to reduce plastic pollution in our local Pacific Ocean. However, scientists estimate that more than 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution enter our oceans every year. If we don’t stop this from happening, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish!
Sadly, plastic bags and other plastic waste (such as straws and utensils) can look a lot like food to marine animals and are often gobbled up by sea turtles and other sea creatures. This hands-on kitchen table exploration for children through teenagers demonstrates how easily plastic bags can be confused with sea jellies and imparts a deeper understanding of the importance of reducing our plastic consumption and preventing plastic waste from getting into the marine environment.
Support and Attract Native Pollinators to your Yard
Make a Bee Bath
Pollinators need a source of fresh water, but not too deep or else they will drown. A wonderful activity for naturalists of all ages is to make a bee bath (butterflies and other insects will also visit your bee bath). Make a schedule for refreshing the water daily and rinse it out completely at least every three days to keep mosquitos away. Then watch and see who comes to visit!
Western Monarch Butterflies
The Western Monarch butterfly is distinct from the better-known Eastern Monarch in that it has a different migratory pattern and lifecycle. It breeds west of the Rocky Mountains and overwinters in forested groves along California’s Central Coast, whereas the Eastern Monarch overwinters in Mexico. Each spring the Western Monarchs leave their winter resting place and fan out across California, Arizona, Nevada, and the other western states to lay their eggs on milkweed and feed on nectar from a variety of wildflowers.
According to the Xerces Society, the Western Monarch population has dropped to a critical level over the past two winters! Some things you can do to help include:
- Planting native flowers. Monarchs need nectar to provide energy to migrate, breed, and overwinter. Flowers can be planted anywhere, including overwintering sites.
- Avoid using insecticides and herbicides. These may kill butterflies, caterpillars, or the milkweed plants that monarchs use for laying eggs. Check out these tips for managing pests in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Backyard and Patio Crafts
Children can make a hotel for native insects to dwell using an empty soda bottle and materials found in the yard. Don’t be surprised if a native solitary bee takes up residence for the season!
Gardeners handy with tools can build an eye-catching solitary bee hotel to attract important native pollinators to their yard to pollinate fruit trees, vegetables and native plants.
Even though you are safe at home, you can still experience some wonderful museums and zoos virtually. The Following is a list of links and virtual tours of several renowned museums around Los Angeles and the United States.