An estimated six thousand San Diegans spent Saturday morning cleaning up trash as part of the 37th annual California Coastal Cleanup. The effort was organized by I Love a Clean San Diego.
People participated in neighborhoods around the county. One of the largest cleanups was in Ocean Beach where more than 100 volunteers picked up debris in the sand.
“Yeah, we love the beach. We’re here a lot of the time so why not clean up some trash while we’re at it,” said Madeleine Frieze, a volunteer.
“It’s really, cool to be part of such a great community and San Diego really cares about protecting our beaches and oceans and I really love that,” said Jackson Colpitts, a volunteer.
From boots to pillows, to cigarette butts, the sand in Ocean Beach was littered with all types of debris Saturday morning. A huge dumpster was used to haul off the trash.
While tons of debris end up on the sand, much of it starts as litter in storm drains, miles away from the coast.
“The most important thing for people living inland to understand, as far east as Julian and Ramona, everything put into a spillway ends up in our beautiful ocean,” said Len Herring, Executive Director of I Love a Clean San Diego.
In hopes of keeping our oceans clean, the City of San Diego is stepping up its public outreach through its Think Blue public outreach campaign.
“I hope it creates a habit. A habit of understanding that our individual actions wherever they may be in the city actually contribute to whether or not we have clean oceans for San Diegans and tourists alike to enjoy,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
Over the past 37 years of Coastal Cleanup Days, 370 thousand volunteers have picked up 5.5 million pounds of debris, according to I Love a Clean San Diego.