Sunset Cliffs One of Top Two ‘Trashiest’ Beaches in 2016

by on May 16, 2017 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights

Ocean Beach-related Beaches Have Scored “Worst” Beach in 4 Out of Last 10 Years

On May 15th, Surfrider and Coastkeeper released the bad news:

188,000 pieces of trash were removed by more than 6,500 volunteers who cleaned up San Diego County beaches in 2016. 80 percent of all trash removed contained plastic.

But the bad news for OBcean and Point Lomans is that Sunset Cliffs was deemed one of the top two “trashiest” beaches in the County. Sunset Cliffs provided the most refuse on a per- volunteer basis, with an average of 7.65 pounds per person. The other was the Oceanside Pier. La Jolla Shores was the cleanest beach with 0.42 pounds of trash found per person.

San Diego Coastkeeper

The beach at Ocean Beach won the dubious award of coming in second for most trash collected in 2016.

Yet this is nothing new for OB-related beaches as they have been called the worst beaches in 4 out of the last ten years by Surfrider and Coastkeeper. In 2007 and 2009 the Ocean Beach – Sunset Cliffs beaches were rated “most trash per volunteer effort”, the OB Pier got the award in 2011, and now this year.

From San Diego Coastkeeper

But it’s not all from beachgoers.

Kristin Kuhn, San Diego Coastkeeper Programs Director, said:

“Much of the trash we find on the beach is first littered miles away from the coast. It reaches the beach when wind and rain blow trash into our canyons, creeks and storm drains.

Small, lightweight plastics are particularly dangerous because they move easily to the coast, are hard to remove and look like food to aquatic and marine life.”

Cigarette butts accounted for 32 percent of all trash removed, and remain the most common type of beach litter. With their plastic foam filters full of toxins, cigarettes also pose a significant pollution threat to San Diego’s waters.

San Diego Coastkeeper

From San Diego Patch

The beach cleanup volunteers also collected 4,302 fully intact plastic bags in 2016, continuing the trend of slight but consistent decreases in the number of plastic bags found each year, according to the report. California adopted a ban on single use plastic bags late last year.

“We look forward to seeing how the bag ban affects the health of our beaches as we continue cleanups this year,” Kuhn said.

The report said the overall amount of trash removed last year was down slightly from 2015, possibly due to a drop in the number of clean up volunteers.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel Smiechowski May 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

Thank you for the great article. I am a candidate for D2 SD City Council and began surfing Sunset Cliffs and the OB Jetty in 1971. Danny


PL Local May 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

No. In fact, most of the trash comes from kooks who don’t care about the ocean and are just there to “have fun” but end up trashing our beaches.

Just this weekend I encountered a group of under age kids who were drinking on the beach and smashing bottles on the rocks.

I hate to say this, because so many locals know how to respect the beach while having fun, but I would like to see an increase of Police at Garbage beach. Like actually go down to the beach and ticket fools who bring glass, don’t just drive into the parking lot and then leave. And visit the “bad lands” where people smoke, drink and tag. When people trash the “bad lands” and then it rains, all the trash ends up at Garbage beach and in the ocean.

We have Park Rangers that monitor the “bad lands” and the “local dog park” (Not really a dog park). But one Ranger was assaulted and sent to the hospital by a group of thugs who were smoking in the park.

Get rid of the bad people and we will get rid of the trash problem. I alone shouldn’t be having to police the area and picking up trash every weekend.


CliffHanger August 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Sorry to say, I agree. Social media seems to have played a big role in more and more people coming from outside OB for sunset watching (hence, the insane traffic out of here after sunset) and overall praying around the Cliffs, from Adair down to Ladera. The amount of crap left behind is sickening – no respect at all for the cliffs, the ocean or our neighborhood.
I really can’t see the police caring about this enough to stop the trash and tagging going on.
How about a “take your trash with you” as a welcome sign on the light posts coming into OB on SCB?
It’s getting worse.
Maybe it’s time for local “security” teams to police our cliffs…


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