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Imperial Valley Kids Get A Much-Needed Ride To The Beach

Kids from Imperial Valley get ready to kayak at Silver Strand State Beach as ...

Photo by Ebone Monet

Above: Kids from Imperial Valley get ready to kayak at Silver Strand State Beach as part of the Outdoor Outreach program, August 16, 2017.

San Diego County has 70 miles of coastline. But for kids living in the inner city or in low-income communities, access to the region's beaches can be out of reach because of poverty and lack of transportation.

The nonprofit group Outdoor Outreach teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Valley on Wednesday to bring more than 20 kids from the Imperial Valley — some of whom have never been to the ocean — to Coronado's Silver Strand State Beach for two days of water play and camping.

Misty Lee, executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Valley, said access to the beach for these children is special.

Photo by Ebone Monet

Kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial County kayaking at Silver Strand State Beach as part of a two-day camp retreat, August 16, 2017.

Video by Katie Schoolov

"As you know we're from the desert, so we don't have opportunities to do stuff like this. It's an amazing feeling," Lee said.

That feeling was echoed by Alexis Becerra.

"I'm going to say it was great. It was amazing. I'll never forget it," Becerra said.

State Senator Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, who's district includes Imperial County, is co-author of SB 5, a bill to improve access to outdoor spaces like parks.

He said he wants kids from every California community "to come have access to the coast. For them to have this wonderful opportunity. For them to visit one of the most beautiful coasts in a state that says this coast belongs to everybody."

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