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By Lillian Boyd

Surfrider Foundation’s South Orange County (SFSOC) chapter has announced upcoming events to include beach cleanups and special guests to speak about Dana Point being designated a Whale Heritage Site.

At the chapter meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, SFSOC will host Donna Kalez and Giselle Anderson, who will speak about Dana Point being designated a UNESCO Whale Heritage Site. The two local whale-watching industry moguls will discuss the new initiatives they working on and what it means to all of Orange County and the millions of visitors and residents hosted annually in Dana Point.

The event is free and open to all ages. The meeting will be held at the OC Sailing & Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point, at 6 p.m.

Donna Kalez and Gisele Anderson, co-directors of the Dana Point Whale Watching Company, applied for Dana Point to be designated a Whale Heritage Site in early 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Donna Kalez

International Coastal Cleanup Day is Sept. 18, and SFSOC will host a cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon. This annual event will be co-hosted with OC Parks. Parking vouchers will be provided to volunteers upon check-in at the vehicle access at the top of the hill. Bring your own reusable glove or garden glove and reusable water bottle.  Volunteers are asked not to use latex gloves or single-use water bottles. Everything else will be provided.

Future beach cleanups will be held in San Clemente from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Oct. 16, Nov. 20, and Dec. 18. Cleanups will be held at Aliso Creek Beach on Oct. 2, Nov. 6, and Dec. 4.

In light of recent guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the surge of COVID-19 cases and Delta variant infections nationwide, SFSOC has made a decision to require that all individuals who wish to volunteer be fully vaccinated (meaning it has been 14 days since you received your final vaccine dose) and provide proof of vaccination.

This decision was made after very careful consideration, and with the safety of Surfrider Foundation chapter staff, volunteers and the public in mind, states SFSOC. For additional information or concerns regarding this requirement, reach out to Kia Stora, volunteers@southoc.surfrider.org. A scanned or photographed copy of your COVID Vaccination Record Card can be emailed to derkeneff@southoc.surfrider.org.

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