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Save the Bag Ban Alternative Spring Break Tour

By Jenn Engstrom
Organizing Director

CALPIRG Students Save the Bag Ban Alternative Spring Break

This spring break we took a road trip, but not to Cancun. We took 30 college students with CALPIRG Students at the UCs on an Alternative Spring Break media tour in support of the Save the Bag Ban Campaign. Our oceans are polluted with plastic trash, much of which are single-use plastic bags that we only use for a few minutes and then allow to pollute our oceans for decades. That’s why CALPIRG worked with local groups across the state to make California the first state in the country to ban plastic bags. But big out-o- state plastic companies are fighting back and spent $3 million to put a question on the November ballot to repeal our ban. They are going to spend tens of millions more to mislead and confuse the public, but we a can win if we build grassroots support and get ocean supporters to turn out on Election Day. To build a buzz, we did six events last week to announce our support for the bag ban, stand with local leaders to show the support from coastal communities, and make a direct impact by doing beach clean ups. Here is more about our successful Alternative Spring Break. 

 Monday 3/21

We started our week with a cleanup at Jack Long Square in Oakland. We were joined by Berkeley City Councilman Chris Worthington, who read a poem he wrote to the students about the bag ban. 

Tuesday 3/22

On Tuesday we held a press conference at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with Monterey Mayor  Clyde Roberson, California Ocean Policy Manger for Monterey Bay Aquarium Letise LaFeir, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Paul Michel.  Following the event, the students did a tour of the aquarium to see up close the wildlife they are working to protect.  Our event was covered by KION CB5, the Monterey Herald, and the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Wednesday 3/23

On Wednesday we held an event in Santa Barbara at Campus Point Beach with Mayor Helene Schnider, Lisa Sherratton from Congressional Candidate Salud Carbajal’s office, Kathy King with the Community Environmental Council, Peggy Owens with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, and Brian Trautwein with Environmental Defense Center. Following the event students did a cleanup of Campus Point Beach. KEYT covered the event.

 

Thursday 3/24

On Thursday we held two events. The first was in Long Beach at Long Beach City Hall with Nick Giles from Senator Lara’s office.  Following the event students did a cleanup where the LA River meets the Pacific Ocean.  The event was covered by the Long Beach Post.  

Our second event on Thursday was a press conference and beach cleanup at Santa Monica State Beach. We were joined by Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vasquez, Heal the Bay Senior Coastal Policy Manager Dana Roeber Murray, and Benjamin Kay with Team Marine. Following the event students held a cleanup of the beach. The event was covered the Santa Monica Mirror, LA 18, and USC Annenberg Media.  

Friday 3/25

On our final day we held a press event and beach cleanup at Mission Beach in San Diego, one of the direst beaches in Southern California. We were joined by Roger Kube with Surfrider and Pay Crevoshay with Wildcoast.  The event was covered by San Diego 7 and San Diego Community News.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success.