With only two more public beach cleanups left in the year (it gets cold out there ya’ll!), let’s reflect on the success of our Beach Cleanup program in 2019!
First off, our chapter volunteer base has grown into a powerhouse that is more than 10,000 strong. Together, we’ve removed more than 15,000 pounds of trash from San Diego’s coastline this year.
Cigarette butts, runaway styrofoam and food wrappers count among the most commonly found items on our beaches. We know this because volunteers collect data on trash while they’re picking it up (the job of a volunteer is never done). Surfrider manages this data and uses it to educate, promote awareness, and push for policy change in our community.
For instance, Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics Committee achieved a major policy victory earlier this year when the City of San Diego voted to ban the use of styrofoam. That fight could not have been won without all the on-the-ground work that has been done to address the plague of plastic pollution on our beaches.
Our beach cleanups are all about getting outside with our neighbors, and last month was no exception. In late October, we co-hosted a cleanup with the local community group, People For Ponto, whose focus is to encourage the city of Carlsbad to develop Ponto in a way that provides coastal recreation opportunities and preserves coastal access. In addition to making the beach a whole lot nicer, we said ‘yes’ to a trash-free breakfast by feasting on Leucadia donuts.
Haven’t been able to make it to one of our beach cleanups this year? It’s not too late! We will be hosting two more cleanups this year in Ocean Beach and Oceanside Pier (pending permits) on the morning of December 7.