I went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, trust me you should go.
Harbor seals eat school fish, I bet you didn't know.
Harbor seals don't wear clothes because they have thick skin.
I bet you didn't know they have flippers and not a fin.
It's very cool harbor seals have front flippers to help them steer,
But back flippers help them balance but maybe you didn't hear.
I bet you didn't know that the harbor seals can't stand,
But it's really really funny when harbor seals bounce on land!
Kindergarten, Redondo Beach
Down By the Ocean
In the beautiful ocean I go
Sending ripples upon the surface.
I go into a world of beauty.
I watch the scene teeming with life.
I come up to the surface
I remember the beauty.
All along and into the car.
I can still hear and see the waves
Grade 1, Mountain View
There were two waterfalls
And they were going on
And they stopped in the
Kindergarten, Mountain View
crash on the sandy beach.
below the ocean waves.
on the sandy shore of the beach.
swim below the surface.
Kindergarten, Menlo Park
Gliding to Natural Bridges
Fluttering, dancing, spinning
A colorful poppy soaring through
the bright blue and white sky
Fairies of the forest
Fragile wings coming to life
Strong and tough
Egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly
The souls of my family's greatest friends and ancestors
Grade 2, Santa Cruz
Glimmering blue life
Where all kelp forests grow tall
in every which way
The smell of seaweed
and the vibrant colors
of our huge ocean
all of our ocean
has served our planet of love
for many years
Grade 3, North Hollywood
Oh What a Dream
My toes on the sand
Soft and sweet as my dreams float on
Makes life complete
Birds chirp as the palm trees sway
And the wind tickles my nose
On that tender day,
The calm sea-salty breeze
What a dream
But there is a monster
Everybody knows there is a monster
But nobody knows what,
California known for its pretty beaches
And gorgeous waves
But nobody wants to come on their days
We need it back
We need it clean
No birds can fly
No fish can swim
We all need to pitch in
Grade 3, Santa Barbara
My Home Beach
crashing onto the
Soft warm sand
sifting between my
Up above, gulls
soaring over the
Down below sand crabs
digging in sand burrows
looking for the
bridge hanging over
Grade 3, El Cerrito
By the Seaside
By the shore, on the beach,
I can see the seaside.
All the tree leaves gently sway,
and so does the tide.
The sun shines brightly,
and ocean water flows.
The sea water sparkles too,
and the wind swiftly blows.
By the shore, on the beach,
I can see the sea.
The coast is
as beautiful as can be.
Grade 2, Brea
You Are the Thing I Love Most
sounds like music
to my ears
it just wants
to come near
whenever I'm not
there a strong
me want to be
you are the
thing I love
Kayla Brianna Zamora
Grade 3, Salinas
The Seaweed Life
Wavy, slimy, growing long,
Squishy, gloppy, green and strong.
Fish are swimming through its forest
All are crowding to explore it.
Their tendrils reaching towards the sun,
'Neath the crabs are having fun.
Shimmering forests and glowing leaf,
Sunlight won't reach it underneath.
Looking for warmth and light from above,
Then a wave comes the algae to shove,
Pushing and pulling it onto the beach,
Where the hot, dry sand its life does leach.
Grade 5, Cerritos
Whales dive deep as they wake from sleep
The sun rises slowly over dune shadows lowly
Birds soar overhead, always the first out of bed
Over the smooth soft sand, the gentle breeze plays like a band
Look what has washed ashore, rinsed and tumbled more and more
Strands of kelp, broken shell, polished stones and even bones
Salty spray as winds blow playfully, enjoy a day made so beautifully
Grade 6, Eureka
The Wonders of the Golden State
The sky is orange and violet, with clouds of painted white stained by bloodred.
Beneath, a crystal pond of rolling ocean waves as far as the eye can see.
Schools of fish splash in the depths, their slimy scales aglow in the dying sunlight.
The waters lap at tan sand where crabs scuttle.
Deep below, clams dig far with their shining milk-white pearls.
Seabirds flap under newfound stars, white wings like fire under the moon.
Over green trees they fly, their legs brushing the tips of the branches.
Grass twists and swishes in a midnight breeze, the chill of night air bringing frost.
Though the days are warm and sunny, the nights are damp and cold.
Gusts whoosh past hard enough to rip a tree trunk from the earth, roots and all.
But as the twinkling stars begin to fade, and the silver moon dips away,
The sunrise casts a magical glow over the land.
The poppies start to blossom, stretching under an azure-red sky with the new sun.
The world welcomes a new day in the golden state.
Grade 4, Portola Valley
The roar of the waves
Calms the chaos in my mind
'Tis a lovely shore
The sea, being kind
Beautiful ocean waves hide a powerful roar
While they crash against gentle white shores
It is a beautiful evening, calm and free
With a full day of fun behind me
I reflect on the things I have done
All of the bad, and all of the fun
As I watch the sunset, I foresee
Another day of joy
And another day of glee
On a nighttime stroll
Don't see a soul tonight
As I think about days to come something catches my sight
A lighthouse guiding the ships to the shoreline
As I watch the lighthouse something comes to mind
Perhaps this is a sign that the future is bright
However we need to make it this way
By cleaning up the oceans and the bay
If we don't do this, I have to say
The ocean might suffer a coastal doomsday
But don't worry because we still have hope
If we clean up the oceans we won’t have to mope!
Grade 6, San Jose
Down in the deep,
A shark swims in the water.
Right above him,
Is one little otter.
The sunlight zone
Is where the octopus roams.
It's catching fish
Right out of their homes.
The coral reef
Is home to so many.
But since overfishing,
It's rare to see any.
The oceans are waiting,
For us to discover
All the new species
It has uncovered.
Grade 4, San Diego
Has there been one like her
Kissed by the gold of the sun
Wild as a field of whispering reeds
Splashed with the clearness of the sky
She carries no fear
When she enters my waters
I crash gently upon her
I do not cradle a mere soul
The heartbeat I listen to
Soft and rhythmic
The skin pressed against me
Delicate as the petal of a flower
The spirit that reaches out
To brush my very core with light
What I hold
Is pure living sunshine
This shard of light
This piece of the sea
I will call her California
Who I give my soul
Who carries it upon her fragile shoulders
Who could be my demise or my rebirth
Her name will be California
I offer her a grin of my own
Grade 8, Hidden Hills
As the wind blows past people walking
along the beach,
seagulls can be heard from above.
In the distance,
below the undertone sky beholds
A famous tourist site, where people
from far come to travel to see.
In shining blue water emerges adorable
sea otters, laying on backs and eating clams.
Sea lions swimming for mackerel,
anchovies, and squid.
The beautiful hues of yellow, orange, and pinks
paint the clouds
of a magnificent sunset.
Grade 9, Atascadero
sky & sea
look at the vast sky
see the wispy clouds,
the deep, swaying blue
feel the sand between your toes
climb across the dune, a camel's hump,
watch the reeds & grasses waver
notice not only the inﬁnite sea
but also the frothy bubbles in the waves,
the chirps of skittering plovers, wind-up toys
recognize the shiver that crawls through your body
when you approach the shore, tentative, & the tide tickles you
let your squeal of surprise reverberate
forget the difﬁculties & challenges of life
& breathe in time with the ocean & the
gulls crowing & the grainy crunch under your feet
gaze into the horizon, the twinkling sun,
observe how its golden arms stretch & transform
into humanity, the future, the universe
Grade 7, Mountain View
The beach sand is warm
a sand crab scuttles along
searching, like us all
...and the ocean
in the wave whispers
there is story
in whiskers of abalones
that slumber beneath shaded ocean boulders
there is story
in the clashing symphony of
waves but also petrels and cormorants perched
on Bird Rock that is dotted with
smatterings of white who
it is the sharpest of lightning, the loudest of thunder
the softest of velvet, the slowest of giants
the fierce, the gentle
the pretty, the ugly
the foam of whitecaps and the colors of a tapestry
with its story shaping land and cliffs and-
ceruleans, the streak of russet like a painter's brush gone wrong,
sea otter twisting, a brown barber pole spinning into the eternity that stretches both
above and below but not really because it is a metropolitan of giant kelp, brittle stars
and the California cone snails that inch so slowly
the gravel seabed
like eternal dreamwalkers glazed in amber
the spire of his tooth and ridges of his back and-
and we can never say enough
to tell the story of our briny, littoral home
yes, you, with fingers in currents and toes in sand
eclipsed in a hidden cove or shadowed beneath the Golden Gate
or crouching below gold-bathed palm trees, you sit only on a
minute beach that breathes with the ocean's power
in a 840 mile coastal line
fitted in a nine-and-a-half million square mile jut of land
that is yet again, enveloped by indigo
you are touching the waters
of the world
A Beach of Unblown Glass
All are welcome
underneath this bleeding blue sky
above these rounded stones, wiser
every step toward the sea
amongst this cotton foam
hugging toes with bubbles blown by joy
born from Nature's simple truth
A black and white film
A kaleidoscope of rainbows
Sand dollars, crab shells,
Anemones––giants of the rocks
dipped in green tea and dusted with heather
Sea urchins––abundant blackberry brambles
dark as night, sharp when disrespected
Life awaits in these sands
these rocks and tide pools
with wills stronger than stone
thriving amongst the waves.
Grade 12, Fairfax
El Eco de Mil Corazones | The Echo of A Thousand Hearts
Trembling with treble
The beast roils and groans
Stirring in its wake a storm of stones
El eco de mil corazones
Grey-red painted cloud
Uneasy yet still
Shattered silence so loud
Roar of the heavens shrieking and shrill
Forcefully carved new veins
Run up and down, a globe of clay
Cut like grain, Earth a castaway
Triumph of civilization, swept away
Grade 11, Monterey
It is quiet
With not a sound but the rain beating down
Falling in dense droplets,
That land on the rocky shore
Upon taking a closer look you will see
Tidepools freckled where cliff meets sea
Little galaxies of their own
With unmoving stars painted along rocks
Crabs scurrying across the shallows of the tide
And algae dancing beneath the surface of the pool
A sense of undisturbed peace
Until a wave pummels against the shoreline
Its quick arrival comes as a shock
Crystalline waters disrupt all serenity
Filling the hollow trenches of the coast
Submerging all life in a clear, salty cloak
Then it is quiet
Can life resume as normal?
Creatures hold their breath in anticipation
With a startling crash, another wave soon follows
Stronger this time,
Swirling into motion the formerly still water
As clouds of bubbles rise to the surface...
For an instant - all life is disoriented
Their peaceful morning had taken an eventful turn
But then they carry on with their tasks for the day
And all is quiet once more
Grade 11, San Ramon
The Beach at Night
Picture the beach.
There, right there
Let me guess
Baked by the sun
Faces red with sunburn
Air filled with the metallic smell of sunscreen
Hot ground, cold water
Maybe a sunset or sunrise
Shrieks of joy
Packed with families
That is the beach in the light of day
But days end and light diminishes
Brightness fades and night takes over
So what of the beach then?
When the fire pits are far away
And the ocean is a dark, opaque abyss
When the sand is cold
And freezing water bites at the ankles
Friends still laugh together
The joy is still there
But there's no one to hear it
Except the ocean air
Secrets swallowed by the sea
Bared souls retreating with the tide
Friendships forged under darkness
Who knew the beach could be the best
When it was quiet
The coast as the backdrop and witness
For euphoria in the dead of night
What of that beach?
Grade 11, Aliso Viejo
the sun is laid to rest in its glittering grave,
swallowed by a sea that has encompassed all else.
those shipwrecked strain to stand on their tiptoes, keeping
their drowning prides a seal whisker's width above the point
of no return. despairing eyes pillaging the clouds with a final
plea while cities swell with schools of fish descending
upon the limits like nets of stardust scattered across
impossibly glasslike skies, the bridges overhead twisting into
monoliths. civilization's shadow lengthens into steel and
stone. the emerald green of signposts just barely there
beneath midnight shades of kelp, revealing that highway one leads not
to a destination, but to a state of purgatory where the crag of the coast is merely
a fleeting silhouette tumbling from cliff to slivering crest, mouth agape,
gurgling muted by a wash of white noise. rivulets spill into alleys,
unheeding, bursting the veins of the ocean's arrhythmia-
plagued heart. waves unravel into tongues lapping into outstretched
hands. starfish, resisting the will of nature in all of their luminous
resplendence, cling to window panes for their dear lives as they
peer at turtles who wander wide-eyed down the avenue and float
weightlessly past barnacle-adorned meters and abandoned ghosts of cars,
past the world that has never given them a second thought—
—forgotten them, even.
perhaps we could have seen this coming before it was
too late, our lungs excavated from the cavities of our chests
as our hands and feet became arrows rupturing the surface for a stolen
breath of forgiveness. instead we have developed a reputation for dismantling
ourselves, our people, our home;
we are promising, yet we also brim with broken promises.
one day, earth will be smeared with watercolors of blue.
one day, you will wake up to salt on your tongue.
one day, there will be no horizon—
just the bubbles drifting languidly,
a half-visible spattering of tears
and an infinite expanse of sea.
Grade 11, Burlingame