OCEANSIDE — Nearly 650 volunteers gathered at Oceanside Beach Pier and three San Diego beaches July 5 to assist with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s annual post-Fourth of July Morning After Mess beach series. By midday, Surfrider volunteers had recovered 1,410 pounds of trash and 326 pounds of recycling, which otherwise would have been washed into the sea. The Morning After Mess recovered 489 plastic bags, 983 pieces of styrofoam and 14,796 cigarette butts.
Surfrider volunteers worked 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. These cleanup sites were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash.
San Diego County Chapter Manager, Haley Haggerstone, said, “We are incredibly pleased with the number of volunteers who came out this morning to help clean the beaches after the busy holiday. We are also pleasantly surprised with the amount of trash that was collected. There was 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. Much of this litter is made up of plastic, which has become a critical pollution problem devastating marine life in the world’s oceans.
Throughout the year, with programs like Rise Above Plastics and Hold Onto Your Butt, Coastkeeper uses education, outreach, and advocacy to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and cigarette butts along our coast.