DATE 8/21/12

Organization: Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter

Contact: Julie Wartell
Phone: (858) 204-3887

Contact: Roger Kube
Phone: (619) 701-4027

Hold On To Your Butt Day Arrives this Sunday, August 26th
Events at Belmont Park in Mission Beach and Along Highway 101 in Encinitas

San Diego, California  –  As part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the epidemic of cigarette butts on our streets and beaches and the volume of cigarette litter in the region, the San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will hold dual Hold On to Your Butt Awareness Day events this Sunday, August 26th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm across from Belmont Park in Mission Beach and at the corner of E Street and Highway 101 in Encinitas.

“Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the U.S. and all it takes is a five-minute walk on the beach to find more than a handful of cigarette butts,” says Surfrider volunteer Roger Kube.  “This type of litter isn’t just found on streets and sidewalks.  The number of cigarette butts found on beaches and nearby areas is overwhelming, and at the beach cleanups I’ve been involved in cigarette butt litter accounts for about one in every three items picked up.”

Cigarettes flicked out a window or stubbed out on the ground even miles inland have the potential to compound litter problems, as butts eventually flow into streams, rivers, bays, lagoons and ultimately the ocean.  “It’s equal opportunity,” says Chapter Coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone.  “A cigarette butt discarded in an East County parking lot is a source of pollution there, and as wind or a passing car blows it into a storm drain and rain carries it to the beach and into the ocean, the butt continues to pollute as it goes, even as it deteriorates in the ocean.  To make matters worse, especially this time of year, lighted cigarette butts flicked into our arid environment can spark costly, destructive and deadly wildfires.”

Beginning at 10:00 am on Sunday the 26th, Hold On to Your Butt Awareness Day events will engage activists, surfers, beach fans, concerned citizens and Surfrider volunteers at two of San Diego’s busiest intersections as people arrive for a day at the beach:

  • Across from Belmont Park in Mission Beach (at the intersection of W. Mission Bay Dr. and Mission Blvd.)
  • E Street in Encinitas (at the intersection of E St. and S. Coast Highway 101)

Activists will hold signs, hand out personal ashtrays, distribute Hold On to Your Butt stickers and demonstrate about the ongoing problem of cigarette butt litter.  Surfrider volunteers will also encourage motorists and beachgoers to dispose of cigarettes safely and responsibly, and explain cigarette butts thrown on the ground eventually wind up in the ocean and affect marine life, as well as surfers and swimmers.

If you’re tired of cigarette butts lazily floating by while getting ready to catch a wave or frolicking in the surf or on the beach with your family, join the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for dual Hold On to Your Butt Awareness Day events this Sunday, August 26th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

For more on Surfrider’s ongoing Hold On to Your Butt campaign and efforts to clamp down on cigarette litter, go to, or contact Hold On To Your Butt Campaign Coordinator Julie Wartell at (858)204-3887.

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