The Morning After Mess: Less Trash at OB Pier But 2 1/2 Times Greater at Dog Beach This Year Over Last

by on July 6, 2023 · 5 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

During Surfrider and its partner groups’ “Morning After” beach clean-ups on July 5, the trash collected at the OB Pier site was less than last year’s. This year, 129 pounds were collected compared to last year’s 143 pounds (not a lot, but some at least).

However, it was a different story at Dog Beach. Sponsored by San Diego River Park Foundation, volunteers collected 1,925 pounds compared with the 735 pounds gathered in 2022, over 2 and a half times greater this year.

Overall volunteers removed 2,832 pounds of trash from San Diego’s beaches after the 4th of July holiday. Surfrider reported that this year 347 volunteers, in only 3 hours, had recovered more than 2,832 pounds of trash, mainly consisting of single-use plastics —  which otherwise would have been washed into the sea.

Last year, 429 volunteers removed 1,645 pounds of trash.

Here is the list of the total weights by site along with the sponsoring group:

Total Weights by Site:

  • Imperial Beach (hosted by Clean Border Water Now) – 89 lbs
  • Ocean Beach Pier – 129 lbs
  • Ocean Beach Dog Beach (hosted by SD River Park Foundation) – 1925 lbs
  • Fiesta Island (hosted by I Love A Clean SD) – 381 lbs
  • Mission Beach Park (hosted by San Diego Coast Keeper) – 47 lbs
  • Crystal Pier(hosted by Paddle For Peace) – 96 lbs
  • Moonlight Beach(hosted by Un Mar De Colores) – 73 lbs
  • Oceanside Pier (Sponsored by Reef) – 92 lbs

In a press release from Surfrider San Diego dated July 5, 2023, there was an encouraging quote from Alex Ferron, Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter Manager:

“Many of our volunteers remarked that the beaches seemed cleaner than in previous years, which is a great sign that we are headed in the right direction together! Despite that, we can’t lose sight of the fact that even one piece of trash on the beach is too many.”

But in comparing this year’s figures and pounds with those from last year, I discovered the exact same quote – word-for-word by Ferron, which is a little troubling. (Perhaps Surfrider simply cut and pasted this year’s numbers into last year’s announcement.) Of course, that doesn’t detract from Surfrider’s anti-plastic campaigns, etc.

Here’s last year’s pounds:

Total Weights by Site:

  • Ocean Beach Pier (sponsored by Stone Brewing) – 143 lbs
  • Ocean Beach Dog Beach (with SD River Park Foundation) – 735 lbs
  • Mission Beach Park (with San Diego Coast Keeper) – 16 lbs
  • Crystal Pier (with Paddle For Peace) – 102 lbs
  • Fiesta Island (with I Love A Clean SD/133) – 450 lbs
  • Moonlight Beach (with Un Mar De Colores) – 88 lbs
  • Oceanside Pier (Sponsored by Reef) – 111 lbs

For more information on the Surfrider Foundation San Diego, visit or contact Chapter Manager Alex Ferron at


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie July 6, 2023 at 11:13 am

If my math is right, the trash collected at Dog Beach & SD River mouth was over 2/3rds of the entire total of trash recovered the whole morning after. 1925 lbs to total of 2,832 pounds of trash. yikes!


Dean M July 6, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Dog beach had the most people on the 4th. The volley ball courts were packed. I guess they don’t know how to pick up after themselves?


Barbara F July 6, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Hurray to every last volunteer. What a remarkable effort. Of course I irritated at the litter.


Gary Wonacott July 7, 2023 at 8:53 am

We spent this 4th in Maui, the land of Kama Aina (sp), or from the land. There was zero pounds of trash here, as there is year around on the beaches. The locals and I think most of the visitors feel as sense of pride here in the beaches, the land, that only shows up the day after the 4th in San Diego. I believe that to solve this problem in San Diego requires a dive into the root cause. The San Diego beaches are a national treasure that is not shared by all, or many in San Diego. I believe that the leadership in San Diego, the mayor and councilmembers, have no greater duty than to change this perception by making proclamations and personally showing up.


Frank Gormlie July 7, 2023 at 11:18 am

Patty suggested that perhaps there was more trash, etc at the San Diego River mouth because of all the rains.


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