Our Commitment to Keeping Malibu’s Beaches Clean

by the Rockwell Kitchen Team

When we call Rockwell Kitchen an experience, something beyond your typical food truck, what we mean is that every dish we serve is seasoned with community care. To us, community means home and home means beaches. We’re lifelong Malibuites and we’re committed to keeping our home as pristine as possible — that’s why we take the time to clean up the shores of Topanga Beach every month, and we invite you to join us in that mission, too. Because you’re our community.

Our Topanga Home 

Our owner and executive chef, Alla Rockwell, hails from Malibu and has always stood by her community, providing equine rescue during the Woolsey Fire and helping feed over 1,400 firefighters during the Escondido Fire in 2018. Community care is in our blood; and that includes taking care of our home beach at Topanga.  

Malibu’s easternmost beach (making it closest to Los Angeles), Topanga sports over a mile of ocean frontage and about 21.5 acres of natural space. Highly regarded for its solid surf, it also hosts a sandy creek known as Topanga Lagoon. Keeping the beach area clean does more than just improve its aesthetics: It also curates a healthy habitat for the passage of fish such as the endangered Southern California steelhead and the tidewater goby, and various local birds, including those who make their homes in the nearby wetland as a transitional habitat. 

Cherish Your Beaches

From the original seed (or maybe the chickpea?) of the idea for opening up a farm-to-table restaurant experience, we knew we wanted Rockwell Kitchen to be rooted in the community, and beach cleanups quickly became a natural extension of that desire. But that doesn’t make Rockwell special — anyone can contribute to keeping California’s beaches tidy and healthy. 

Wondering how to organize a beach cleanup? Here’s what the National Environmental Education Foundation recommends:

  • Choose a cleanup site.
  • Elect a site coordinator.
  • Scout out the site in advance, planning areas for check-in as well as trash and recyclables collection.
  • Prepare supplies, including trash bags, a first-aid kid, hand sanitizer and wipes, reusable gloves, sunscreen, bug repellent and plenty of water.
  • Make arrangements with local recyclers to create a recycling plan and determine where you’ll dispose of hazardous waste.
  • Personally reach out to event partners, such as local businesses, for sponsorship and promotion, and recruit your volunteers within your real-life social circle as well as your social media circle, focusing on shareable content to spread the word.

Those are just the basics. If you’re serious about organizing, this free, comprehensive guide from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes for a wonderful springboard. Of course, your cleanup may be as simple as hitting the beach solo with a pair of gloves and a trash bag — the way you help is up to you, and can be just as good for the soul as it is beneficial to the environment. Think of beach care as a little bit of self care, too.

Come Join Us

If you’d rather just participate than organize, we’ve got you — and like the tides, you can rely on consistency when it comes to our beach care initiatives. Our Rockwell Kitchen beach cleanups will go down at Topanga Beach on the second Sunday of every month, starting bright and early at 7 a.m. (a great time to experience that one-of-a-kind morning sea breeze) and ending at 8 a.m. Keep an eye on our socials at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, where we’ll always give you a heads-up on the latest community efforts. 

Of course, every beach cleanup you participate in winds down with a free coffee on us, but don’t think of that perfect morning coffee by the sea as an ending —  we’ve only just begun our beach cleanup journey, and can’t wait for the future. We’ll keep the coffee warm and see you there. 

In addition to his experience as a mixologist, menu designer, bar manager and traveler, Dan has been a freelance writer and Los Angeles resident since 2009. He has previously written for Everything Food, Farmshelf, Hunker, Out East Rose, Salon.com and the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, among others. 


Los Angeles County: Topanga Beach

Topanga Town Council: OneTopanga.com: Update on the Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project

National Environmental Education Foundation: Tips for Organizing a Beach Clean-Up

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Beach and Waterway Cleanups