Volunteers clean up San Diego beaches

Volunteers clean up San Diego beaches

Hundreds of volunteers showed up Sunday morning to clean up the mess that Independence Day revelers left at area beaches during their July Fourth celebrations on Saturday night.

More than 650 volunteers removed nearly 1,410 pounds of trash and 362 pounds of recycling material from the Ocean Beach Pier, the Oceanside Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, and Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. They picked up nearly 21,000 cigarette butts, 953 plastic bags and 1,483 pieces of Styrofoam.

The cleanups at the beaches were sponsored by nonprofits like the Surfrider Foundation, I Love a Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper.

Speaking about the cleanups, Mandy Sackett of the Surfrider Foundation, said, "We've seen a significant decrease in the amount trash collected at our annual 'Morning after Mess' since the drinking ban was put into effect in 2008, but there is still a ton of garbage left behind and we need volunteers to help make sure it doesn't enter the ocean."

Volunteers received bags and gloves from organizers but they were encouraged to bring their own reusable bag or bucket to cut down on single-use plastic waste. There was no need to pre-register but volunteers under the age of 18 were required a parent or legal guardian to sign for them.

The first 450 volunteers received a free T-shirt donated by REI. Some prizes, including concert tickets provided by radio station 91X, were also drawn at each location.

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