By Mandy Sackett / Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter
Over 300 volunteers gathered at four popular beaches on July 5th to assist with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s annual post-Fourth of July Morning After Mess beach series. By midday, Surfrider volunteers had recovered 1,131 pounds of trash which otherwise would have been washed into the sea where it would add to the already critical pollution problem devastating the world’s oceans.
Surfrider volunteers hosted four cleanups in collaboration with I Love a Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper from 8 a.m. to 11a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and the Oceanside Pier. These cleanup sites were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash.
San Diego County Chapter Manager, Mandy Sackett, says, “We are incredibly grateful for all of the volunteers who came out today to help clean the beaches after the busy holiday. It is crucial to prevent all the litter left on the beach on July 4th from making its way into our ocean. Once in the ocean, the debris is devastating to marine life and negatively impacts ocean users. Fortunately, we saw a significant decrease in the amount of trash collected this year when compared to the last few years.”
Few holidays generate more trash on San Diego County beaches than the Fourth of July. Sadly, much of this litter is made up of plastic, which exacerbates an already critical pollution problem devastating marine life in the world’s oceans. This year’s Morning After Mess recovered 175 plastic bags, 1,526 pieces of Styrofoam and 6,547 cigarette butts.
Throughout the year, the Surfrider Foundation works hard to prevent pollution from becoming part of the ‘Morning After Mess.’ Through successful programs like Rise Above Plastics and Hold Onto Your Butt, the organization uses education, outreach, and advocacy to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and cigarette butts along our coast.
2016 Morning After Mess Totals
During the 2016 Morning After Mess cleanup series, 306 volunteers removed 1,131 lbs of trash from our beaches and surrounding areas. The trash collected included 6,547 cigarette butts, 175 plastic bags and 1,526 pieces of styrofoam.
Ocean Beach Pier
- 72 volunteers
- 2,231 cigarette butts
- 45 plastic bags
- 1,112 styrofoam pieces
- 303 lbs trash
- Most unusual item(s): marshmallows, underwear, fireworks, curtains, bike fender
- 138 volunteers
- 3,062 cigarette butts
- 53 plastic bags
- 32 styrofoam pieces
- 403.5 lbs of trash
- 102 lbs of recycling
- Most unusual items: cooler, backpack in a tree, sandwich, scissors, tampon
- 48 volunteers
- 923 cigarette butts
- 37 plastic bags
- 185 styrofoam pieces
- 110 lbs of trash
- Most unusual items: fireworks, spagehetti, bra
- 48 volunteers
- 331 cigarette butts
- 40 plastic bags
- 198 styrofoam pieces
- 213 lbs of trash
- Most unusual items: pacifier, baby shoe, wallet, kite, glow stick, toy car
Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For an overview of the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter’s current campaigns, programs and initiatives go to www.surfridersd.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.