Local organizations join together in the worldwide annual beach cleanup at the Bay Street/Inkwell monument, a historical African American beach site that became a cleanup site in 2012. More than 10,000 volunteers from all over Southern California will do their part to clean up their local beaches, rivers, creeks and parks. And that’s just part of the picture: Coastal Cleanup Day happens all around the world. Last year, it drew over 600,000 participants!
The Santa Monica Conservancy will be on hand to talk with beach cleanup volunteers and anyone stopping at their exhibit about preservation as well as the history of this unique site sometimes known as “the Inkwell.” Members of the Los Angeles Black Underwater Explorers will also share information and a display about scuba diving and marine life.
In 2008 the city of Santa Monica installed the monument at Bay Street and Oceanfront Walk officially recognized this important Jim Crow era African American gathering place. Additionally recognized at this site is Nick Gabaldón, the first documented surfer of African and Mexican American descent, who also attended Santa Monica College.
At this site Gabaldón and others challenged racism and class structures to enjoy beach public space, and contributed to opening up leisure and public spaces for all Americans.