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Surfrider Volunteers Collect 2,140 Pounds of Trash at the Morning After Mess Beach Cleanup


DATE 07/05/15

 Contact: Mandy Sackett
Chapter Manager, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter


Phone: (440) 749-6845


Surfrider Volunteers Collect 2,140 Pounds of Trash at the Morning After Mess Beach Cleanup

SAN DIEGO, CA – Nearly 580 volunteers gathered at four popular beaches this morning to assist with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s annual post-Fourth of July Morning After Mess beach seriesBy midday, Surfrider volunteers had recovered 2,140 pounds of trash and 388 pounds of recycling, which otherwise would have been washed into the sea where it would add to the already critical pollution problem devastating the world’s oceans. 

Surfrider volunteers hosted four cleanups in collaboration with I Love a Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper from 8 a.m. to 11a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and the Oceanside Pier.  These cleanup sites were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash. REI San Diego donated t-shirt giveaways and 91X and Clif Bar sponsored the event, providing music and snacks.

San Diego County Chapter Manager, Mandy Sackett, says, “We are incredibly pleased with the number of volunteers who came out this morning to help clean the beaches after the busy holiday.  It is crucial to prevent all the litter left on the beach on July 4th from making its way into our ocean.  Once in the ocean, the debris is devastating to marine life and negatively impacts ocean users. Fortunately, we saw a significant decrease in the amount of trash collected this year when compared to the last few years.  This is partially due to the cancellation of the annual marshmallow fight in Ocean Beach.”

Few holidays generate more trash on San Diego County beaches than the Fourth of July.  Sadly, much of this litter is made up of plastic, which exacerbates an already critical pollution problem devastating marine life in the world’s oceans.  This year’s Morning After Mess recovered 953 plastic bags, 1,483 pieces of Styrofoam and 21,007 cigarette butts.

 Throughout the year, the Surfrider Foundation works hard to prevent pollution from becoming part of the ‘Morning After Mess.’ Through successful programs like Rise Above Plastics and Hold Onto Your Butt, the organization uses education, outreach, and advocacy to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and cigarette butts along our coast. 

For more information on Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter, visit or contact Chapter Manager, Mandy Sackett at or (440) 749-6845.

***Please see the second page for a breakdown of types of trash collected at individual beaches***

2015 Morning After Mess Totals

During the 2015 Morning After Mess cleanup series, 579 volunteers removed 2,140 lbs of trash and 388 lbs of recycling from our beaches and surrounding areas.  The trash collected included 21,007 cigarette butts, 953 plastic bags and 1,483 pieces of styrofoam. 

Ocean Beach Pier
143 volunteers
 6446 cigarette butts
174 plastic bags
447 styrofoam pieces
310 lbs trash
46 lbs recycling
Most unusual item(s): marshmallows, underwear, fireworks, fishing nets

Belmont Park

196 volunteers

9032 cigarette butts

536 plastic bags

412 styrofoam pieces

1587 lbs of trash

285 lbs of recycling

Most unusual items: Light up mouth guards, Fortune from a fortune cookie reading “Your hard work is about to pay off”

Crystal Pier
95 volunteers

3631 cigarette butts

40 plastic bags

423 styrofoam pieces

88 lbs of trash

21 lbs of recycling

Most unusual items: nacho libre toy, bikini bottoms, screw driver, “fart bomb”

Oceanside Pier

145 volunteers

1898 cigarette butts

203 plastic bags

201 styrofoam pieces

155 lbs of trash

36 lbs of recycling

Most unusual items: balloons, grill, sandals