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    Posted July 20, 2012 by
    La Jolla, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     gailpowell volunteers with an organization that promotes clean and safe beaches. She captured photographs of young kids at La Jolla Shores, California, who were trying to help keep the beach clean and safe, by removing dead jellyfish from the sand. She asked the young boys why they were cleaning up the jellyfish and they responded back that they wanted to help the lifeguards. 'I was very touched and thought of my own son, who is now 18 years old. He was a junior lifeguard at that beach five years ago, and they reminded me of him,' she says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    The La Jolla Light newspaper did not mince words in a story about black jellyfish found at La Jolla Shores beach. Describing the mysterious creature, the Light noted that it is capable of inflicting a terrifically painful sting. "Black jellyfish can grow to be three feet wide with trailing tentacles that are 30 feet long. They are named for the dark burgundy color of an adult’s belly," said the Light. It it those trailing tentacles that are the tails of terror. They can continue to sting even after death. Which is why it is so important to get them off the beach and out of the water when they float up to the shoreline with the tide.


    I was utterly charmed by some very energetic youngsters Wednesday, July 18, at La Jolla Shores beach. This group of do-gooder elementary students took it upon themselves to walk the beach and pick up pieces of dead jellyfish.


    One of the boys dug a large pit in the soft sand near the water. The other young jellyfish collectors tirelessly roamed up and down the shoreline near the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club picking up globby leftovers with their plastic diggers and rakes. They then dumped them into the jellyfish pit, where, eventually, they had quite the collection of pieces of jellyfish.


    While walking by, I, too, gathered to gawk as did others on the beach. Everyone was talking about how so many people were stung up in Encinitas on Sunday. A few kids had been unfortunate enough to get a dose of jellyfish tentacle recently. TOne poor boy told me it felt like a jolt of electricity on him when he swam into the jelly. A red rash or welts soon develop and it is painful and unsightly!


    The wounds do heal quickly and hot water and vinegar will help break down the protein in the stinging cells. Still, it is mighty uncomfortable and best to try and avoid.

    I asked two of the boys who were hard at work why they wanted to do this big job? Hunter and Connor told me that they "wanted to help the Lifeguards keep the beach safe for everybody."


    High tide then began to get close to the big pit full of jellyfish. I told the kids that when the jellies wash ashore along San Diego Bay where I like to swim, the sailing instructors come out from Southwestern Yacht Club and bury the dead jellyfish in the sand. The boys needed to get busy fast throwing sand onto the pit to trap the jellies so the incoming tide doesn't take them out again.


    By this time, it looked like at least 100 or more jellies were simmering in the pit stew. The kids could not shovel the sand fast enough to keep the tide out of the pit. I pleaded with some teen boys with boogey boards to give us a hand. They stopped long enough to use their boards to push big mounds of sand down on top of the pit and then pat the sand down tight with their boards. It worked!.


    The pit was kept from releasing its quarry back to the ocean where the creepy jellyfish leftovers could cause more harm. The beach-goers and tourists standing around applauded the boys for their hard work and initiative in protecting the beach.

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