Volunteers help clean up trash at South Shores Park on Mission Bay on Sept. 15.
Volunteers sign up to help clean up trash at South Shores Park on Mission Bay on Sept. 15.
Volunteers paint a storage facility at South Shores Park on Mission Bay on Sept. 15.
At the 34th annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 15, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) harnessed the power of people to combat ocean pollution by mobilizing an estimated 7,000 volunteers at 106 cleanup sites in San Diego County, including four on-water sites.
Volunteers including residents, corporate groups, and civic organizations turned their appreciation for the environment into action for the planet by choosing to do their part to protect and enhance their local communities. During this three-hour cleanup, volunteers improved the overall health and beauty of the natural environment by removing an estimated 130,000 pounds of trash and debris from the San Diego County.
Among the debris, there were several notable odd items collected during the cleanup including: a disco ball, a stuffed animal tiger, 641 golf balls at one location (they were returned to be reused), a snowboard, and fake eyelashes.
Volunteers also restored the local environment through beautification projects such as mural painting, vegetation trimming, mulching, trail restoration, tree planting, and weeding. While priming a storage container that was covered with a mural at the San Diego Youth Aquatic Center, Mission Bay Park’s Senior Park Ranger Karolynn Estrada-Sparlin, said, “I am looking forward to seeing the final project, for years this has been in my head but now it will be reality thanks to all of you.”
Coastal Cleanup Day was an opportunity for the community members to conserve in more ways than one. As part of the effort to boost zero waste practices, ILACSD encouraged all youth and adult volunteers to be more sustainable by choosing to bring at least one reusable item for the cleanup like a water bottle, work bucket, or gloves – and many stepped up to the challenge. Volunteers had the opportunity to showcase their creativity and commitment to zero waste practices by decorating reusable buckets to enter the Bling Your Bucket Contest for a chance to win prizes while celebrating sustainability.
Coastal Cleanup Day also received attention from several of San Diego’s elected officials who visited cleanup sites in their respective districts including Congressman Scott Peters; State Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins; City Council members Barbara Bry, Lorie Zapf, Chris Ward, Myrtle Cole, Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman, David Alvarez, and Georgette Gomez; County Supervisor Greg Cox; Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina and Councilmember Mark West; and National City Mayor Ron Morrison.
ILACSD organizes Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County in partnership with the California Coastal Commission as part of a global international event led by the Ocean Conservancy. Top tier supporters of Coastal Cleanup Day include the County of San Diego, Think Blue San Diego, The Coca-Cola Foundation, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Evans Hotels/The Bahia, and KFMB.
Coastal Cleanup Day is one of two annual countywide cleanups hosted by I Love A Clean San Diego that engages thousands of local families, community groups, and local businesses. Beyond countywide events, ILACSD continues to empower volunteers at hundreds of cleanups targeting specific neighborhoods, parks, and open spaces on an ongoing basis throughout the year. In 2017, ILACSD mobilized over 31,000 volunteers who removed half a million pounds of debris from San Diego County. For more information about upcoming cleanups, workshops, or zero waste tips, please visitCleanSD.org.