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Surfrider member gets serious about keeping butts off the beach

CARLSBAD — At Tamarack State Beach on Dec. 1, The Surfrider Foundation and California State Parks employees celebrated the installation of 50 cigarette collection containers to clean up north San Diego beaches
During a recent beach clean-up effort, Delinda “Dee” Forsberg, a longtime Carlsbad resident and beach lover, was appalled when she picked up enough cigarette butts to fill a large kitchen trash bag at a bus stop near the entrance of Tamarack State Beach. Forsberg, a Surfrider Foundation member, took the Foundation’s “Hold On To Your Butts” campaign one step further and decided to do something more lasting.
Forsberg partnered the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter with the California State Parks, who own and operate approximately 14 miles of North County beaches. She sought assistance from Surfrider to donate 50 cigarette collection containers and worked with the local California State Parks to install and maintain the long stainless steel cylindrical receptacles at Carlsbad, San Elijo, Cardiff, Seaside and Torrey Pines state beaches and parks.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the United States and in the world. This type of litter is found not just in streets and urban settings, but it typically ends up on local beaches. The number of cigarette butts found on beaches accounts for nearly one in every five items collected during a beach cleanup. Additionally, butts cast onto the sidewalk and streets end up in drains, which flow to streams, rivers, bays, lagoons and ultimately the ocean, according to the Surfrider Foundation.
“We could not be happier with the message the ‘Hold On To Your Butts’ campaign and collection containers sends to our visitors,” State Park’s Sector Superintendent Brian Ketterer said. “The containers will be placed at locations throughout North County where millions of people access our local beaches and park areas. They’ll provide a convenient way for everyone to do their part to keep our environment healthy and clean.
“Without the dedication of concerned citizens like Dee Forsberg, State Parks would have been unable to provide such a necessary solution to the cigarette butt litter problem,” Ketterer said. “The program demonstrates what one person can do to protect our environment. We are truly grateful to Dee for her time and hard work to make this happen.”