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Coastal Defense: Solo Beach Cleanup Edition

Have you been missing our monthly beach cleanups? Us too! We’re thrilled to finally announce new guidelines for how to conduct your own solo beach cleanups, safely and locally. A solo cleanup could be just you, or you & your “household unit.”

Here in San Diego County, most beaches have re-opened and allow for a limited range of activities that include solo/household group cleanups.  Before you go out, please check your city's website for any details re: beach access, limited hours, or restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, be sure to conduct your cleanup at a beach where you can easily maintain a safe distance of 6 feet. 

Make an Impact

Thanks to a powerful network of volunteers, our shared Beach Cleanup program with San Diego Coastkeeper has removed over 119,000 pounds of trash from our beaches and waterways since 2007.

Aside from less trash on our beaches and in the ocean, your beach cleanup data is the most valuable takeaway from our cleanups. The data you collect allows us to determine exactly which items and materials pollute our beaches the most.  This information empowers us to advocate effectively for legislation to reduce these products from ending up on the beach in the first place.

Check out our 2019 Beach Cleanup Report for a better idea of how your efforts contribute to large-scale change! 

Let's Do This

To start, you’ll want to assemble your cleanup supplies (we recommend gardening gloves, a bucket or grocery tote, and a reacher grabber if you have one!). By executing your cleanup with reusable supplies, you create zero-waste.

Next, print out a copy of our Data Sheet from our website. Use this to track your findings while you pick up trash, tallying off each item in the correct section. Give the data sheet a quick review before the cleanup; that way you can hit the ground running! By tallying items as you find them, you’ll save yourself the chore of sifting through the trash later on (which can be pretty gross).

Take a walk around a park, a beach or even your local neighborhood - by picking up trash in these areas, you are preventing pollution from entering the ocean via the watershed!

Once you’ve filled out the data sheet, you have two choices.  You can input the data onto our Google Form, or email a photo of your findings to (please make sure to include your name, email, date of cleanup and location of cleanup!)

Want to be featured on our Instagram? Tag us @surfridersandiego with the hashtag #SurfriderSoloCleanup 

#SurfriderSoloCleanup Data Sheet

Google Form to Report Data

Cleanups and COVID-19

Please exercise caution when doing a solo beach cleanup and follow the tips below to help reduce your risk of exposure! 

  • Respect closures to public beaches and parks - this isn’t just for your safety but the safety of your community!
  • If you are feeling unwell, do not go out. Stay indoors, drink plenty of water, load up on Vitamin C and heal.
  • Select a remote spot or somewhere there will be fewer people, so that you can always maintain a minimum of a 6 ft distance from others. 
  • Wear gloves. While this is a standard beach cleanup practice, we cannot stress this safety precaution enough, especially during these times. Viruses can live on hard surfaces and you should exercise extreme caution when collecting litter. 
  • Bring along hand sanitizer and be sure to sanitize your hands thoroughly and often.
  • If you are using any sort of cleanup equipment, be sure to disinfect it both before the after the cleanup.

If you'd like to get more involved with our efforts to defeat plastic pollution in San Diego County and beyond, check out our Rise Above Plastics program, as well as our Events Calendar so you can join us for one of our monthly meetings!

Follow us on Instagram @surfridersandiego, Twitter @surfriderSD and Facebook if you don't already!

Visit our Solo Cleanups Page!