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Coastal Cleanup Day Sweeps Through San Diego County

...and sweeps out over 300 lbs of trash!

Thanks to social media and the hashtag #CoastalCleanupDay we are able to connect with ocean and nature lovers all over the world who took part in the largest cleanup of the year. From the islands of Jamaica and Taiwan to the cities of Mumbai and Copenhagen, millions of people contributed to Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day: a day dedicated to actively engaging in the preservation and protection of our ocean, waves & beaches.

We partnered with I Love A Clean San Diego who helped organize over 100 cleanup sites throughout San Diego County. The community really pulled through on Saturday morning with over 6,500 volunteers collectively removing an overwhelming 140,000 pounds of trash from entering sensitive habitats and waterways.

A big thank you to our sponsor, Yachak Yerba Mate for fueling Ocean Beach volunteers throughout the cleanup!

Volunteers participated in hosted cleanups in Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach and Border Field State Park with enthusiasm to collect and remove trash from the beaches, surrounding alleyways and streets. Our site captains recognized many volunteer's faces as they took multiple trips to the Surfrider tent to sort through their collected trash and recyclables, before heading back out to fill their reusable bags again. They collected over 300 pounds of trash from both of our cleanups; some noteworthy items collected included an incomplete bike frame, an empty suitcase, shoes with missing pairs, and hundreds of cigarette butts.

The data we collect is one of the most crucial aspects of our beach cleanups. The information collected by volunteers via data sheets provides us with knowledge to inform awareness and push policy campaigns, which aims to prevent pollution from reaching our beaches in the first place.

This year Surfrider San Diego County Chapter successfully advocated for a polystyrene foam ban in our city; we were able to push for this ban based off data collected from our public and private cleanups. In 2018 Surfrider San Diego County Chapter was able to record over 20,000 pieces of expanded polystyrene from our beaches. This data collected by our volunteers helped us (successfully) push for the styrofoam ban. We sincerely appreciate all of our volunteers who take the time to fill out a data sheet while they clean. This information is extremely important and part of the wave that will break us away from single use plastics...and prevent them from entering our beaches & waterways in the first place!

Following the climate strike, International Coastal Cleanup Day helped continue the global wave of environmental activism and awareness. This 3-hour cleanup had a huge impact that truly highlighted the sense of community in Ocean Beach and Imperial Beach. Surfrider San Diego County was proud to host these events and haul away over 300 pounds of trash that may have been otherwise digested by the ocean and its inhabitants. Join our fight and together we can maintain #HealthyBeaches and #BanSingleUsePlastics!

Want to get more involved in our beach cleanups?