Dozens of volunteers canvassed San Diego County beaches on Monday in a cleanup organized by the Surfrider Foundation to remove garbage left behind by litterbugs over the Independence Day weekend.
On Monday morning, which the Surfrider Foundation refers to as "the morning after," volunteers removed trash and debris left behind at county beaches by thousands of residents and visitors who flocked to the shores for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
According to Surfrider, more than 500 volunteers turned up at a half-dozen locations up and down the San Diego County coast and picked up more than a half-ton of trash (in pounds):
- OB Pier:177
- OB Dog Beach (SD River Park Foundation): 560
- Belmont Park (ILACSD): no weight reported
- Crystal Pier: 159
- Moonlight Beach (Encinitas): 102
- Oceanside Pier: 96.5
- Total: 1,094.5 Pounds
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Thankfully, this year's numbers pale in comparison to the last pre-pandemic morning after. According to the Surfrider Foundation, nearly 800 volunteers turned out in 2019 and removed a collective 3,900 pounds of trash -- including 5,930 cigarette butts -- from five beaches in a three-hour span.
"These cleanups raise awareness about how we're unintentionally trashing the beaches we love," said Mitch Silverstein, chapter manager for Surfrider Foundation San Diego. "More than anything, we'd love to see beachgoers ditch common single-use plastic picnic items like bottled water, cups, plates, utensils, etc. and replace them with reusable versions, which are much less likely to be left behind as litter."
This year's cleanup efforts were held from 9 to 11 a.m. at:
- Ocean Beach Pier
- Ocean Beach Dog Park
- Belmont Park at Mission Beach
- Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach
- Moonlight Beach in Encinitas
- Oceanside Pier
The cleanup events were open to the public. Bags, gloves and trash grabbers were provided while supplies last, with participants encouraged to bring their own reusable supplies.