Los Angeles Waterkeeper Announces Youth Involvement for 5th Annual Stand Up for Clean Water Event
Aidan Gallagher and Erika Benitez launch kids paddleboard race on April 16th
LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2016 — Two local celebrities will lead the children’s paddleboard races at LA Waterkeeper’s 5th annual Stand Up for Clean Water — a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series Event presented nationally by Toyota and locally by Whole Foods Market. Over 300 paddle boarders, clean water supporters and outdoor enthusiasts are expected to attend the benefit — including hundreds of kids.
This year’s youth ambassadors, Nickelodeon star Aidan Gallagher and 15-year old stand-up paddle board competitor Erika Benitez, will kick off the youth races with Aidan emceeing and Erika in the water providing paddleboard demonstrations.
Aidan Gallagher grew up in Los Angeles and formed a deep love for the ocean and surfing. He is now an active environmentalist and uses his celebrity status to educate his generation on the importance of saving our local habitats.
California local Erika Benitez is making international headlines in women’s stand-up paddleboard racing. Erika represented Team Mexico at the 2015 Worlds and was recently seen dominating the 2016 Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge in San Diego’s Mission Bay.
“Our ocean’s future will be determined by our next generation of leaders,” says Los Angeles Waterkeeper Executive Director Bruce Reznik. “Spending an afternoon racing through our beautiful Marine Protected Areas is the kind of experience that can instill a deep, lifelong respect for our waters, and it’s a blast.”
This year’s Stand Up for Clean Water benefit takes place along the Point Dume State Marine Reserve, a Marine Protected Area (MPA) where fishing is restricted but non-consumptive recreational uses like paddling and diving are allowed and even encouraged. Much like underwater national parks, MPAs protect ecologically important areas of the ocean to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy a thriving coastline teeming with wildlife.
Stand Up for Clean Water raises public awareness about the importance of MPAs and generates funding to allow Waterkeeper to survey these precious areas while promoting community stewardship of our coast.
For more information go to: www.sup4cleanwater.org
For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota, please visit www.splashseries.org
ABOUT LOS ANGELES WATERKEEPER
Founded in 1993, Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay and adjacent waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action.