Surfrider’s Morning After Mess : 77% of Trash on County beaches from Ocean Beach?

by on July 7, 2012 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, Health, Ocean Beach, Popular, San Diego

Editor: According to this Surfline report of Surfrider’s “Morning After Mess” clean-up of County beaches on July 5th, 77.3% of the “trash” was found on Ocean Beach sands.  See for yourself …

From Surfline / July 5, 2012

Over 500 volunteers from around San Diego County arrived at five area beaches this morning to assist in the annual post-Fourth of July Morning After Mess clean-up effort, coordinated by the San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. By midday, Surfrider volunteers had recovered 2,607 pounds of trash and 191 pounds of recycling which otherwise would have been washed into the sea.

Surfrider volunteers took part in clean-ups at Chula Vista Bayfront Park, the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, the end of Pacific Beach Drive, and the South Harbor Jetty in Oceanside. The five clean-up locations were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash.

Chapter Coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone was pleased with the turnout, as well as the amount of litter collected. “Of the total amount of trash collected in this year’s Morning After Mess, over 2,000 pounds came from Ocean Beach where an annual marshmallow fight takes place immediately following the fireworks on July 4th,” said Haley. “We had a number of volunteers who participated in the marshmallow fight also come out to assist with the clean-up this morning, which speaks volumes about the community of Ocean Beach and their commitment to keeping their beaches clean.”

Few holidays generate more trash on San Diego County beaches than the Fourth of July. Sadly, much of this litter is made up of plastic, which exacerbates an already critical pollution problem devastating marine life in the world’s oceans. This year’s Morning After Mess recovered 559 plastic bags before they were washed into the Pacific, along with numerous plastic bottles and plastic children’s toys.

Despite the volume of litter left behind by holiday crowds, a growing awareness of the detrimental effect of plastics on the health of the ocean is slowly changing people’s behavior, in part through the ongoing efforts of Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics campaign. Similarly, Surfrider’s Hold Onto Your Butt campaign has cut down on the number of cigarette butts on San Diego-area beaches, but even so, over 13,200 cigarette butts were recovered in this year’s Morning After Mess clean-up.

Chapter Coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone said, “We make a big deal out of the phenomenal natural environment we live in here in San Diego, but we also need to recognize the responsibility we have living in a major coastal city. We’re the last line of defense for all kinds of litter and trash before it goes into the sea. Once it gets past the beach, it’s a little too late for us to get it. This is it.”

For more on the San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and this year’s Morning After Mess clean-up, go to contact Haley Jain Haggerstone at (619) 929-5350.

  Morning After Mess 2012 Beach Clean-Up Totals

Ocean Beach Pier

132 volunteers
1,995 cigarette butts
343 plastic bags
70 pieces of Styrofoam
2,016 lbs. trash
15 lbs. recycling
Most unusual item(s): marshmallows, fireworks, plastic beach toys, clothing, toothpaste

 Chula Vista Bayfront Park

2 volunteers
41 cigarette butts
12 plastic bags
6 pieces of Styrofoam
5 lbs. trash
1 lb. recycling
Most unusual item(s): Jenga blocks

  Belmont Park in Mission Beach

227 volunteers
8,260 cigarette butts
80 plastic bags
134 pieces of Styrofoam
345 lbs. trash
130 lbs. recycling
Most unusual item(s): hunting knife, wrench

 Pacific Beach Drive

42 volunteers
1,389 cigarette butts
57 plastic bags
282 pieces of Styrofoam
89 lbs. trash
45 lbs. recycling
Most unusual item(s): Uncle Sam hat, sparklers

 South Harbor Jetty in Oceanside

134 volunteers
1,552 cigarette butts
67 plastic bags
152 lbs. trash

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jim grant July 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Well SOME of the marshmallows got picked up……Thousands still litter the beach !! They will be tracked home in the coming months ……Or scraped off on the sidewalks or steps around Ocean Beach or washed out to sea….Or eaten by seagulls or pigeons ….Or tracked into local business’s ….Hundreds of the marshmallows are down inside the storm drains on Newport….
It constantly amazes me that the surf loving , ocean loving environmentally conscious folks ( at least they say they are) who live in Ocean Beach put up with such disregard for public property and as the Jimmy Buffet lyrics say Mother Mother Ocean. Oh well at least they all had fun thats all that really matters right ?


RB July 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

May be OB will qualify for a super fund EPA clean up.

Apparently, many think the environment is just a way to grow government and so they trash the beach and look for government solutions and regulation. Congrats to those that did the clean up, but life is not that complicated. IF YOU PACK IT IN, YOU PACK IT OUT!


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