‘Day After’ Clean-up Goes Smoothly – But Still About 10% of Celebrators Break the Marshmallow Ban

by on July 5, 2017 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

According to Claudia Jack of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, the “Day After” clean-up is going smoothly, although volunteers found plenty of marshmallows – a clean sign that some beachgoers celebrating July 4th in OB either did not get the message about the ban on throwing marshmallows following the fireworks or are trying to bring the old OB tradition back.

About 300 volunteers did “a great job” said Claudia in cleaning up this morning and last night. She herself found about 100 marshmallows on the grass at the foot of Newport. “I was out there till 10,” she said. “You could see people throwing them on the sand. I even found a few up the avenue, and a couple in front of the store this morning.”

Claudia estimated only 10% of those on the beach were throwing marshmallows. “But the cops were on it,” she added.

She also added that she thinks next year, the Ocean Beach Town Council needs to put up more posters about the marshmallow ban. She referred to the ban developed by the Town Council 3 years ago after public pressure mounted against the absolute mess left by thousands of the gooey clumps, that roll in sand, get harder, that are not good for the birds to eat, that left permanent ugly markings on buildings, sidewalks, monuments.

The July 4th following the very-public campaign to ban them found very little involvement in the old tradition and it was claimed a big success. But perhaps it’s starting to creep back.

“The town council needs to  re-invent the wheel,” Claudia said, and have a much larger display of the ban next July 4th.

A number of organizations sponsored the clean-ups: the Surfrider Foundation of San Diego County, San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego all had their volunteers meet at 9am at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, and the Ocean Beach, Crystal and Oceanside piers.

Last year, almost 700 volunteers gathered up 1,400 pounds of trash and nearly 400 pound of recycling material, organizers said.

And what trash there will be. Over half a million people visited San Diego beaches.  Fox5 reported:

More than half a million people visited San Diego city beaches over the weekend and on the Fourth of July, while city lifeguards were involved in nearly 550 rescues and medical aid operations during those three days, officials announced Wednesday.

On Saturday, Sunday and the July Fourth holiday Tuesday, officials estimate 572,100 people crowded San Diego’s beaches, said Monica Munoz, spokeswoman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. During those three days, lifeguards made 283 rescues and were involved in 266 medical aid operations, Munoz said.

“The majority of the rescue activity occurred in Pacific and Windansea beaches,” Munoz said.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn July 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

LOL how exactly does a 10% participation rate equate to the tradition ‘creeping back’? Come on Frank!
As someone who for three years running has been down there immediately after the fireworks, and generally the next day picking up marshmallows while getting cursed at and pelted by participants, I take issue with that statement. The decrease over the years (well documented by the Rag BTW) has been YUGE! I’m curious as to what efforts were made by OBMA to encourage the community not to participate, other than blaming OBTC for not doing enough. Hmmm…


Frank Gormlie July 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

Jenn, I was there the first July 4th night after the ban was instituted, and the numbers of people throwing marshmallows were very low, 1 or 2% even if …. Claudia’s estimate is 10%. So, there has been an increase. How would you explain it? The OB Rag totally supported the OBTC’s efforts with the ban – and we still do.


Jenn July 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Frank maybe we’ll just need to agree to disagree then because the 3 years hat I was there it seemed decreased a bit every year…I would call it approx. 10-20% of people participating each year. From what I observed there are the die hards, the drunks and the random passers by that throw a few and move on. So the crowd seems to ebb and flow.
I don’t have an explanation, but if we’re looking at a max of 10% of people out of the thousands who head to the beach I think that’s still low. And I 100% disagree that it was ever only 1-2% of people of participating. No way jose.
I never said you didn’t support it and your support, as always, is appreciated :)


Frank Gormlie July 13, 2017 at 10:11 am

I bow to your observations. Thank you for keeping at it.


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