News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Cigarette butts target of beach cleanup

OCEANSIDE — Close to 50 hardy volunteers faced the wind and light rain Nov. 20 to participate in a beach cleanup at the Oceanside Pier. The focus of the cleanup was to rid the beach of discarded cigarette butts before they got into the ocean and affected marine life.
“The number of cigarette butts found on beaches and nearby areas is overwhelming, typically accounting for nearly one in every three items collected during a beach cleanup,” Bill Hickman, Surfrider San Diego Chapter coordinator, said.
“It’s just what we find the most of,” Erika Bauer, AmeriCorps supervisor, said.
Most of the volunteers cleaning up the beach were middle school and high school students. In one hour Lacey Carter and Cassidy Jackson of Cesar Chavez Middle School found 46 cigarette butts. “It’s important,” Cassidy said. “Waves come in and carry out trash and sea life eats it.”
The AmeriCorps volunteer youth group PASS recently adopted the Oceanside Pier beach as their cleanup focus area and will hold more beach cleanups in spring.