"Our climate crisis affects everyone, no matter their age, socio-economic background or political preference,” said Mission Bay High student Vanessa Cascante, who spoke at Friday’s rally, and who is also a member of the school's Eco Club. “As a youth, my hope is we will seize this opportunity to unite under one common goal in the march for a climate-secure future."
ReWild Mission Bay coalition members, neighbors, and climate advocates marched from De Anza Cove Park on Friday morning, met with students and teachers from Mission Bay High and San Diego City College, and then continued to Kendall-Frost Marsh where there was a brief presentation at 1 p.m.
San Diego Audubon conservation director Andrew Meyer said the March to the Marsh was an opportunity to show solidarity with the generation that will have to live with the climate decisions made today, both good and bad.
"This is a priceless opportunity to walk with Mission Bay High School students as they push us all towards projects just like ReWild Mission Bay, which have the capacity to acknowledge, adapt to, and mitigate the coming climate crisis," Meyer said.
UC San Diego Natural Reserve System reserves manager Isabelle Kay noted the symbolic, and practical, benefits of Kendall-Frost Marsh serving as the destination of the March to the Marsh. "Students have the opportunity to study the science of this rare and dynamic ecosystem, and be inspired to communicate their knowledge," she said. "But they can also see the imminent dangers of global climate change, as the daily highest high tides foretell the future effects of long-term inundation of our coasts resulting from sea-level rise."
Mission Bay High science and biology teacher Steve Walters, who serves as faculty advisor to the Mission Bay Eco Club, noted how his students' concern and advocacy motivate him. "My students all know I often say, 'If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.' It's very inspiring to see my students are part of the solution."
Cascante added, "As a representative of my generation, I feel it is my civic duty to address the climate crisis as what it should be – our first priority."
The ReWild Mission Bay Coalition supporting the March to the Marsh included the California Native Plant Society, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C3), Climate Action Campaign, Environmental Center of San Diego, Friends of Famosa Slough, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, Friends of Rose Canyon, Friends of Rose Creek, Outdoor Outreach, Rose Creek Watershed Alliance, San Diego 350, San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego City College Audubon, San Diego Coastkeeper, Sierra Club San Diego, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists (SACNAS), Stay Cool for Grandkids, Sustainability Matters, San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, Unite Here! Local 30, and WildCoast.
For more on the San Diego Audubon Society, visit SanDiegoAudubon.org.