Editor: The following report of the huge clean-up last Saturday, the 26th, by one of the organizers, gives us a glimpse of what happens when groups and community-minded people join forces in making the village better.
OB Community Cleanup a Collaborative Success
Good things happen when we all work together. Despite sideways rain and howling morning winds, 150+ volunteers turned out to accomplish a shared goal this past Saturday, April 26th.
The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter, CSI -OB (Cleaner Streets Initiative), Ocean Minded, Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC), and OBMA’s Crime Prevention Committee joined forces for a community cleanup of epic proportions.
Our volunteers hit the beaches, parks, streets, and alleys as part of the countywide Creek to Bay Cleanup sponsored locally by “I Love a Clean San Diego”. The results speak for themselves.
Between Coronado Avenue and West Point Loma, we collected:
- 302 pounds of trash,
- 89 pounds of of recycling, and
- 12.75 pounds or 24,225 cigarette butts
Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter sponsored our site by the pier, signed in volunteers, and provided most of the supplies for the cleanup. CSI-OB volunteers tackled the community cleanup and were assigned streets and alleys to maximize efficiency and hit the most needed areas.
Members of the OBTC and OBMA Crime Prevention Committee revived and promoted the RESPECT OB campaign and handed out ‘badges of honor’ (aka RESPECT OB stickers) to volunteers. Ocean Minded stoked out the crew with a variety of free hats and stickers. OB People’s Organic Market generously donated 50 Theo chocolate bars. Raglan Public House hosted the grand finale with a packed after-party.
“I was thrilled to see such a strong turnout of volunteers – our collective cleanup efforts instilled renewed respect and pride for our community. This is what makes Ocean Beach so great,” said Gretchen Newsom, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council.
Haley Haggerstone, Chapter Manager for the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter said:
“Despite the rain and wind, we had a great turnout and we were able to remove over 400lbs of trash and recycling from the beach and surrounding areas. Thanks to our partners, the Ocean Beach Town Council, OBMA Crime Prevention Committee, and CSI-OB, who helped promote the event and direct volunteers to the streets and alleys.“
It was a great day to be an Obecian. Seeing familiar faces and new friends giving back to the neighborhood we love was inspiring. CSI-OB’s slogan was well received, “We’re not talkin’ spotless, just a little bit cleaner.”
It’s a simple, but achievable goal. That being said, there is more to be done. A few volunteers suggested we reach out to our property and business owners to be more proactive in reducing litter. Others suggested encouraging locals to speak out against the rampant discharge of litter into San Diego’s most inclusive beach town. Many said they would like to see the city enforce the ordinances already in place.
There are plenty of ways to help. CSI-OB would like to know which OB hot spots are consistently litter ridden eyesores. Let them know or send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org . Sign up to get notifications through the CSI-OB Facebook page.
Join the OBTC to stay informed about future RESPECT OB projects. Become a Surfrider Foundation Core Volunteer. Tell your friend who litters how you really feel. Pick up three pieces of litter a day. The list goes on. We need more collaborators. Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make this event a success. The collaborative approach worked and the neighborhood was noticeably cleaner for everyone to enjoy.