The motto for the Creek to Bay Cleanup is “Your Neighborhood, Our Environment,” encouraging volunteers to beautify their local area to make the overall region a safer, cleaner place for all to work, play, and live. And in accordance with that, there are more than 100 cleanup locations across San Diego County – including Pacific Beach, Mission Bay, and La Jolla – for people to make an impact.
According to I Love A Clean San Diego, 80 percent of marine debris originates from inland sources. The litter around you right now will likely end up end up at the beach, in the Pacific Ocean, or swimming through various lakes and creeks. Thus, there are much more inland cleaning sites to tackle the problem at the source; 77 as opposed to the 31 along the coast. However, that is not to say coastal cleanup sites are of less importance.
Last year, a record-breaking 6,400 people came out to Creek to Bay Cleanup, removing an impressive 170,000 pounds of litter, trash, and debris; this Earth Day is expected to draw similar or greater numbers. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and there are events to liven up the cleanup.
Some of the more common trash items include cigarette butts, plastics bags, and plastic bottles. Every once in awhile, an unusual piece of trash emerges from the heap. Bizarre items such as a bathroom sink, a cash register, and fire hoses have been discovered over the years.
Cleaning up litter is not the only thing on the agenda though. Volunteers can participate in various beautification projects such as graffiti removal, native planting, and mural painting.
Similar to previous Creek to Bay Cleanups, there will be a Bling Your Bucket Contest. Show off your creative side by bringing a bucket you have decorated to the event and you may win some prizes. Not only is this fun for the volunteers, but using buckets in lieu of trash bags also help to reduce waste at cleanup events. Other reusables one can consider bringing are work or gardening gloves to reduce plastic glove use and a canteen to reduce water bottle waste.
Also, this year will feature the Creek to Bay Photo Contest, sponsored by Sony Electronics. Submit your best photo with this year’s theme “Love your neighborhood this Earth Day” and you have a chance to win a Sony Cyber-Shot Camera.
If you are unable to make it to the event but still want to help out, there is another way to contribute. Visit www.cleansd.org to find out how to volunteer for events or donate to the sustainability advocate.
Creek to Bay Cleanup takes place 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22
For more information on I Love A Clean San Diego and to register to volunteer on Earth Day, visit www.creektobay.org.