Ocean Beach Accounted for Three-Quarters of Garbage Collected from Four Beaches

by on July 8, 2013 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing

On the day after the Fourth of July, Surfrider organized a massive clean-up of four beaches:  OB, Mission Beach, PB and Oceanside. Hundreds of volunteers fanned out over these beaches in their “Morning After Mess” annual clean-up, and collected a total of 2,372 pounds of trash from the 4 beach areas.

But most of the trash collected off the sand and beaches – over three-quarters of it – was picked up off Ocean Beach.

OB accounted for 1,802 pounds – 76% of the total.  168 volunteers began at 9am near the OB Pier. Over the next couple of hours, the cleaners picked up 2,395 cigarette butts,  407 plastic bags, 131 styrofoam pieces, and 32 pounds of recycling material.   The most unusual items collected were a  BBQ and marshmallow guns.

In comparison, 2,016 pounds of  trash were collected during the 2012 beach clean-up after the Fourth.

This year’s haul off Ocean Beach included flip-flops stuck in marshmallow muck and marshmallow “guns”.  In addition to  the Surfrider Foundation, the clean-ups were also organized by San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego.

Here below is the full report from Surfrider:

Over 450 volunteers arrived at four popular beaches this morning to assist in the annual post-Fourth of July Morning After Mess cleanup series, coordinated by the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego County Chapter. By midday, Surfrider volunteers had recovered 2,372 pounds of trash and 195 pounds of recycling, which otherwise would have been washed into the sea.

Surfrider volunteers lead cleanup efforts in collaboration with San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego from 9 to 11a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and the South Harbor Jetty in Oceanside. Sites were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash. This year’s event was sponsored by radio station 102.1FM KPRi and healthy snack company Clif Bar.

Chapter Coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone was pleased with the turnout and the amount of litter collected. “It’s no wonder so many people choose to celebrate Independence Day on our beaches here in San Diego, but more visitors means more trash, which threatens our oceans, waves and beaches. We want to remind everyone to stay classy, not trashy and help keep our beaches cleanup…it’s kind of a big deal.”

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 764 plastic bags, 1,163 pieces of styrofoam and 12,685 cigarette butts.

The Surfrider Foundation works hard to prevent pollution from becoming part of the ‘Morning After Mess.’ Through successful campaigns like Rise Above Plastics and Hold Onto Your Butt, the organization uses education, outreach and advocacy to cut down on single-use plastics and cigarette butts before they reach beaches.

For more information on Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter, visit http://surfridersd.org/ or contact Chapter Coordinator, Haley Haggerstone at haley@surfridersd.org or (619) 929-5350.

2013 Morning After Mess Totals

During the 2013 Morning After Mess cleanup series, 469 volunteers removed 2,372 lbs of trash and 195 lbs of recycling from our beaches and surrounding areas. The trash collected included 12,685 cigarette butts, 764 plastic bags and 1,163 pieces of styrofoam.

 Ocean Beach Pier

168 volunteers
2,395 cigarette butts
407 plastic bags
131 styrofoam pieces
1,802 lbs trash
32 lbs recycling
Most unusual item(s): BBQ, marshmallows and marshmallow guns

 Belmont Park

190 volunteers
8,911 cigarette butts
298 plastic bags
703 styrofoam pieces
389 lbs of trash
125 lbs of recycling
Most unusual items: fake mustache, glow sticks, pipe, landline telephone base, TV (x2), golf tees

 Crystal Pier

57 volunteers
109 lbs trash

 Oceanside Harbor

54 volunteers
1,379 cigarette butts
59 plastic bags
329 styrofoam pieces
72 lbs trash
38 lbs recycling

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeffeck July 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

On the 4th we can blame our “guests” from out of town but what about the rest of the year? I don’t want to see our little marshmallow battles to go away. (Would Pamplona ban the running of the bulls, or that other little town in Italy or Spain get rid of the tomato fight?) We need to find a middle ground to keep our community clean.

I find it ironic that the communities that push environmentalism the most are the ones that have the dirtiest community. The Haight in SF is the same way. Why is that? OB streets are by far the dirtiest of all beach communities. We know better.

We need to set an example all year round so people know we don’t accept that kind of behavior. We need to either resurface the sidewalk or pressure wash all of downtown OB sidewalks. Maybe we need another event or something to raise money for that.

The homeless are allowed to loiter and eat in the street. I get it, they have no place to go. Maybe that needs to change. Maybe we need to get innovative. I never heard much resolution from the meetings we had on the homeless problem.

Also, OB is now the “Animal House ‘ for SD colleges, like it is some safe little frat row for parents to dump their kids. Admittedly alot of them are well behaved but they do not have a lasting investment in our community.

I think the town leadership is on the right track with community watches etc. Maybe we should ask the police and city council to be a little more strict in enforcing the loitering, vagrancy, drunkenness, littering etc laws rather than blanket banning stuff. Plenty laws on the books. Stiffer fines and innovative penalties might help spread the word to respect OB.


obracer July 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

12,685 cigarette butts !
Place a $ 1.00 C.R.V. per cigarette butt , problem solved.
Yes, I am a smoker.


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