February 7 – Coastkeeper, Surfrider Announce 2010 San Diego Beach Cleanup Data

Volunteers removed more than 25,000 pieces of Styrofoam

{readmorelink}Read the full article…{/readmorelink}

SAN DIEGO, CA- Feb. 7, 2011- Cigarette butts, Styrofoam pieces and plastics continue to be the top three most common items found on San Diego County’s beaches, according to data released today by San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter. In partnership since 2003, the environmental organizations conduct twice-monthly beach cleanups throughout the county and ask volunteers to keep detailed records of the debris they remove. The data allows comparisons between clean and dirty beaches; Torrey Pines State Beach had the least trash in 2009 and 2010, while Pacific Beach’s Tourmaline Beach had the most trash collected by volunteer.

“We presented this data to the City of San Diego last week and asked council members to not spend taxpayer money on single-use plastic water bottles and Styrofoam food containers, which harm our environment,” said Alicia Glassco, San Diego Coastkeeper’s Education and Marine Debris Manager.

Data collection cards from the 2010 cleanups also show:

•    Cigarette butts, Styrofoam and “other plastics” are the top three most common items found since 2007.
•    Volunteers removed more than 70,000 pieces of plastic from area beaches in 2010.
•    Pieces of Styrofoam have increased in three years from 10,000 to nearly 25,000. Interesting items found in 2010 included an electronic keyboard, conveyor belt and soup ladle.

“The data highlights the trend of improper disposal of plastics such as single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam, food wrappers and bottles/caps, which do not biodegrade,” said Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter Coordinator Bill Hickman. “Cigarette butts remain a serious concern.”

In addition to Coastkeeper and Surfrider’s twice-monthly cleanups, both organizations participate in additional special cleanups organized by several local non-profits. When totals from all major area cleanups are combined, nearly 40,000 volunteers collected 635,000 pounds of trash from San Diego waterways and coastal beaches in 2010.

Coastkeeper and Surfrider are also announcing the full 2011 schedule, which will again rotate locations of popular beaches throughout the county and are open to all volunteers. At each cleanup, organizers anticipate 100 to 500 people. 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 plastic usage during the pickup.

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

# # #

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.