Photography and video art students attended a four day HWGo! storytelling trip focused on exploring bodies of water in Southern California.
Students were able to visit the Salton Sea and surrounding towns, chaperoned by visual arts teacher Jesse Chehak and visual arts substitute Reb Limerick.
According to Limerick, HWGo! trips are planned to raise more awareness about many social issues. This trip was aimed toward aiding students’ understanding of water related issues such as climate change, pollution and humanity’s effects on the environment.
Limerick said that the current state of the Salton Sea is indicative of underlying planetary issues, such as climate change.
“It’s two times saltier than the ocean,” Limerick said. “It’s kind of an ecological disaster because there’s so much run off from farmlands and evaporation, due to global warming, that it’s become very toxic, so a lot of fish and birds have died.”
Students reflect on their experience
Capri Woss ’21 said that the most powerful part of her trip was seeing the community that encompasses Wilmington, a town near the Salton Sea. She said the town, which is a minority community, sits next to several large oil refineries and that they were negatively affecting the communities around them.
“We took a bus ride through the streets of neighborhoods that were next door to the refineries,” Woss said. “It was really awful.”
Allie Landecker ’21 said that visiting Slab City was her favorite part of the trip. Slab City is not recognized by the state of California, and subsequently has access to few government services.
“It was really interesting to see how people live in a ‘lawless’ city,” Landecker said.