July 4th Beaches Surfrider
Bags of post-holiday trash collected on area beaches in 2018. Photo credit: sandiego.surfrider.org

Hundreds of volunteers removed 1,645 pounds of trash from San Diego County’s beaches following Independence Day festivities, cleanup leaders announced Thursday.

The annual effort is lead by the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego chapter.

In three hours Tuesday, 429 volunteers removed the trash – largely single-use plastic – from beaches up and down the coast as part of Surfrider’s “Morning After” beach cleanup series.

“Many of our volunteers remarked that the beaches seemed cleaner than in previous years, which is a great sign,” said Alex Ferron, the chapter manager. “Despite that, we can not lose sight of the fact that even one piece of trash on the beach is one piece too many.”

He added that he hopes people reduce their reliance on single-use plastics and hold businesses and governments accountable for plastic pollution at the beach.

Surfrider volunteers hosted four cleanups in Ocean Beach and Oceanside while partners hosted other events at Mission Beach Park, Crystal Pier and Fiesta Island in San Diego and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

These cleanup sites were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and reputations for post-Fourth of July trash, Ferron said.

OB’s Dog Beach was by far the heaviest haul, with volunteers bringing in 735 pounds of trash that morning. Fiesta Island also saw significant garbage, with 450 pounds collected.

The Surfrider Foundation has a handful of programs to fight plastic pollution in San Diego.

The Rise Above Plastics program has been a force in introducing and passing single-use plastic and polystyrene ordinances across the county. The program uses outreach, education and advocacy to cut down on such plastics and cigarette butts before they reach the coast.

– City News Service



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Ellen Bullock