April 13 – San Diego Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation Publish 2009 Beach Cleanup Data

2010 schedule announced to organize volunteers to remove debris from coastline

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SAN DIEGO, April 13, 2010- San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter partner to bring San Diego County its 2010 beach cleanup schedule and a summary of data collected at 2009 events. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, our twice-monthly beach cleanup program organizes volunteers to pick up trash from San Diego’s beaches. The cleanups aim to remove littered items that plague San Diego’s coastline before they wash into the ocean.
“Last year more than 6,600 people removed about 12,000 pounds of trash at cleanups across the county,” said Coastkeeper executive director Bruce Reznik. “That’s a massive amount of debris that would have most likely found its way into the Pacific.”

When analyzed, data collection cards from the 2009 cleanups showed that:
•    Volunteers removed more than 109, 404 pieces of plastics, including 48,154 cigarette butts
•    Volunteers collected 12,126 pieces of Styrofoam
•    Styrofoam, cigarette butts and “other plastics” are the top three most common items found each year for the past three years
•    Interesting items found in 2009 included a finger skateboard, ice tray, love note and a faucet

“During the monthly cleanups, 109,494 pieces of plastic and items made of plastic or Styrofoam were collected at 20 different locations countywide,” said Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter Coordinator Bill Hickman. “Plastics never biodegrade, so they have a lasting negative impact on our beaches and the health of the Pacific Ocean ecosystem.”
Many people improperly dispose of plastic items such as cigarette butts without realizing the harm they are doing to the environment; the number of butts collected on or near San Diego beaches increased by nearly 10,000 last year to a total of nearly 50,000. 

The 2010 cleanups rotate locations to popular beaches throughout the county and are open to all volunteers willing to help pick up trash. Organizers expect anywhere from 100 to 500 people at each cleanup. They do supply bags, gloves and water for those who participate, but request that volunteers bring their own gardening gloves, buckets and reusable water bottles to help reduce trash created during the pickup.

The year’s cleanup schedule also includes larger multi-beach cleanups such as Creek to Bay on April 24, the Morning After Mess on July 5 and Coastal Cleanup Day on September 25. When the results from cleanups organized by local non-profit organizations are combined, nearly 35,000 volunteers collected 680,000 pounds of trash from San Diego waterways and inland canyons. That’s 340 tons.

The twice-monthly beach cleanups are on the following Saturdays:
Feb 13- South Carlsbad- Ponto Jetty
Feb 20- Encinitas- Moonlight Beach
Feb 27- Pacific Beach- Tourmaline
Mar 13- Oceanside Pier
Mar 27- Coronado City Beach
Apr 10- Sunset Cliffs
Apr 24- Creek to Bay Cleanup
May 8- Del Mar
May 15- Encinitas- Moonlight Beach
May 22- Mission Bay- Fiesta Island
Jun 12- Oceanside- Buccaneer Beach
Jun 26- Pacific Beach- Crystal Pier
Jul 6 (Tuesday)- Morning After Mess
Jul 24- South Mission Beach
Aug 7- Carlsbad- Tamarack
Aug 21- Pacific Beach Drive
Sept 4- La Jolla Shores
Sept 25- CA Coastal Cleanup Day
Oct 9- Torrey Pines State Beach
Oct 16- Encinitas- Moonlight Beach
Oct 23- Tijuana River Valley
Nov 13- Cardiff State Beach
Nov 27- Ocean Beach Jetty
Dec 11- Imperial Beach Pier

For more information on San Diego beach cleanups, visit Coastkeeper’s website at localhost/sdcoastkeeper or Surfrider’s website at www.surfriderSD.org.

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San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them.  We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide.