The most recent America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project beach cleanup occurred yesterday on Treasure Island. The beach cleanups have been held around the world in conjunction with America’s Cup World Series regattas.
Yesterday’s beach cleanup had added emphasis because it was an event of a National Geographic Photo Camp. Last week’s photo camp drew together 20 students from San Francisco’s Downtown High School and Stockton Collegiate International Secondary School. The four-day program took the students on a journey from the Delta region of California to San Francisco Bay and taught them about environmental issues related to the students’ water supply and the ocean.
“There are simple things that we can do as a society to help to protect the marine environment, whether it’s using refillable water bottles and not use plastic and simply recycling, simple things like that help to protect our marine life,” said Reanna Peters of Stockton Collegiate International Secondary School.
The first day of the curriculum took the students to Consumes River Preserve, the historic town of Walnut Grove and two working farms. On Friday the students traveled down the Sacramento River from Snug Harbor to Martinez, Calif. Friday afternoon, the students visited the ORACLE TEAM USA base at Pier 80, focusing on sailing, recreation and water sports, followed by a lecture given by Global Healthy Ocean Project Ambassador and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle to discuss the core themes of Healthy Ocean Project: sustainable seafood, marine protected areas, and marine debris/plastics.
On Saturday the students spent the day working on their photo skills in the Marin Headlands, and Sunday’s highlight was a beach cleanup on Treasure Island, where more than 800 pounds of debris was collected by approximately 70 volunteers in two hours.
“My favorite part was when we went to the ORACLE TEAM USA base,” said Eric Garcia of Downtown High School. “I didn’t know [the wing sail] was like the wing of an airplane and I think that’s amazing, putting something like that on a boat and the way it sails, it goes really fast.”
During the Photo Camp, led by National Geographic photographer Kip Evans, the students were mentored on the basics of photographic vision, equipment and technique, and were led through the process of creating a story through photography and writing.
Collectively, the students took more than 31,000 photographs during the program, and edited them into a photo-narrative designed to tell the story of their journey from the Delta to the Bay. The students’ final multimedia presentation was shown last night at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco. The students’ work will also be exhibited at the 34th America’s Cup races later this summer.
Through the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project, a collaboration between leading local and global ocean conservation groups, the America’s Cup will use the global reach and appeal of the world’s largest sailing event to inspire millions of people to take action on behalf of the ocean.
Since 2003, National Geographic Photo Camp has partnered with organizations worldwide to give youth a voice. The program’s mission is to provide opportunities for young people from underserved communities, including at-risk and refugee teens; to provide cross-cultural learning experiences through the photo workshop process; and to work with the next generation of photojournalists to highlight youth perspectives on issues of importance to all.
This year’s project was a collaboration between National Geographic Mission Programs, the Full Circle Fund, the 34th America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project and Restore the Delta.