Earth Day is observed each year on April 22, but Heal the Bay and its Santa Monica Pier Aquarium will continue that celebration on Saturday, April 26, with a beach cleanup, sand castle contests, and a day chock full of special Aquarium activities for the whole family.
The celebration begins with the monthly “Nothin’ But Sand” beach cleanup from 10 am to 12 pm on the north side of the Santa Monica Pier.
Just down the beach from the cleanup, a Heal the Bay-sponsored designer sandcastle building contest — featuring the creations of architectural firms, design shops, entertainment studios, other businesses and civic groups — runs from 9 am to 12:30 pm.
Inspired visitors are invited to build their own sand sculptures from noon to 2 pm in a family-friendly contest run by the Aquarium staff and sponsored by Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds.
Buckets and shovels will be provided. Naturalists will be on hand with field guides and binoculars for bird watching and all are welcome to grab a sifter to check out the wildlife of the sandy shoreline.
While cleaning the beach to help keep the ocean healthy is its own reward, anyone who participates on April 26 will also be compensated with free admission to the Aquarium that day, when the marine science center will be open from 11 am to 5 pm.
The marine science center plans include scavenger hunts, face painting and craft stations set up to create take-home fish pendants and flowerpots.
Underwater photographer and author Richard Salas will share some of his favorite images of marine life and tell stories of how he captured his subjects on film at 2 pm in the Aquarium’s Dorothy Green Room.
Check www.healthebay.org/get-involved/events for more information or call 310.393.6149.