Volunteers brought their own buckets and gloves to reduce plastic waste from the event
San Diego, Calif. – San Diego County’s largest volunteer event removed trash and debris from 86 sites this morning as part of the 26th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Coordinators San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love A Clean San Diego saw record-breaking registration and anticipate that roughly 10,000 community members removed 50 tons of trash. Local elected officials and event sponsors, including County Supervisor Greg Cox, joined hundreds of volunteers to kick off the cleanup event at Rose Creek in Pacific Beach.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is one of the most important events each year in San Diego because it brings together so many San Diegans to protect our environment,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox, a regular supporter of the event. “Keeping our waters clean and protecting the public’s health is one of the highest priorities for me and the County of San Diego, and I’m excited to be here again this year to support the effort.”
Volunteers used data cards to record the types and amount of trash removed during the three-hour event. Types of trash collected ranged from cigarette butts, plastic bags, food wrappers and shopping carts to more unexpected items including: fake antlers, a mannequin, a bongo drum, and an antique leather football helmet. The 2010 cleanup campaign encouraged volunteers to bring their own reusable items to use during the cleanup, thus reducing the amount of plastic waste generated from the cleanup itself. Many volunteers also received reusable tote bags upon arrival to promote more sustainable daily habits.
Cleanup sites stretched from Oceanside to San Ysidro and Ocean Beach to Alpine, allowing volunteers to help out their neighborhood waterways rather than traveling miles to clean only beaches. The kayak cleanup in Mission Bay and the underwater cleanup at the Embarcadero helped remove trash that had already reached the ocean after falling from human hands. Trash in the ocean, or marine debris, causes great concern to conservation groups because it can persist for many years and harms wildlife. Cleanups like Coastal Cleanup Day help stop the flow of debris from streets and parks to the ocean.
Local Coastal Cleanup Day coordinators San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego appreciate those who gave their morning to the environment and encourage those who may have missed today’s event to seek other ways to get involved. Both organizations coordinate dozens of cleanup events each year as well as a variety of other environmentally focused service projects. Through ongoing volunteerism, the coordinators are able to significantly impact the health of local beaches, waterways and inland areas. Volunteers today helped to stop trash at its source and spread firsthand awareness about the connection between littering and pollution. See www.cleansd.org or localhost/sdcoastkeeper for more information.
California Coastal Cleanup Day would not be possible without the generosity of event sponsors. Presenting sponsors included San Diego County Board of Supervisors through the support from Supervisor Greg Cox and Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, and Think Blue – City of San Diego Storm Water Department. Other major sponsors included Bank of America, Ralphs, the Sempra Energy Foundation, Allied Waste Services and many others. Statewide support for the effort is provided by the California Coastal Commission. A complete list of San Diego County event sponsors can be found at www.cleanupday.org/sponsors.htm.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL CLEANUP DAY is a volunteer event 26 years in the making, with more communities, cities and counties joining every year. Through a partnership with California Coastal Commission and Ocean Conservancy, volunteers track types of debris found to compile and learn the sources of marine debris worldwide. I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper co-coordinate this event in San Diego County. More details about each organization can be found online at www.cleansd.org and localhost/sdcoastkeeper.