Thousands of residents and visitors will flock to San Diego County’s beaches to enjoy the Fourth of July 2014 holiday next week. However, if they were to visit that same coastline the morning after they would find the sight to be slightly less beautiful due to the thousands of pounds of trash that’s expected to be left behind. Thankfully, the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter will be leading the cleanup efforts and they’re asking the community to join them.
The Surfrider Foundation will host the Ocean Beach Pier and Oceanside Pier sites. Partner organizations I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper will host the Belmont Park and Crystal Pier sites.
Bags and gloves will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable bag or bucket, and gloves to cut down on single-use plastic waste. Participants under the age of 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to sign for them. There is no need to pre-register.
The first 40 volunteers at each location will get a Surfrider Foundation trucker hat. There will also be prizes drawn at each location including tickets to Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Band, along with the grand prize of an Iron Cross surfboard, thanks to presenting sponsor and local radio station 91X.
Together, they removed 2,372 pounds of trash and 195 pounds of recycling from four beaches in only two hours. The trash included 764 plastic bags, 1,163 pieces of styrofoam, and 12,685 cigarette butts. Without the collective volunteer effort, all this litter may have washed into the sea where it would add to the already critical pollution problem devastating the world’s oceans today.
San Diego County Chapter Manager, Haley Haggerstone, says “We’ve seen a significant decrease in the amount trash collected at our annual Morning After Mess since the drinking ban was put into effect in 2008, but there is still a lot of garbage left behind and we need volunteers to help.”
The Surfrider Foundation is also working hard to stop the problem before it becomes the Morning After Mess. Through successful programs like Rise Above Plastics and Hold Onto Your Butt, the organization uses outreach, education and advocacy to cut down on single-use plastics and cigarette butts before they reach the coast.
For more information on Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s Morning After Mess cleanups on July 5th, visit sandiegosurfrider.org, or contact Chapter Manager, Haley Haggerstone at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 929-5350.