Instant Justice citation recipients clean San Diego beaches

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Working to clean the beach or clear their names, two groups took part in the post-4th clean up of San Diego beaches Thursday.

Up and down the coast of San Diego, volunteer groups combed the beaches, picking up trash. In Pacific Beach, the effort included a few dozen people who were working off tickets they received over the 4th of July holiday.

"Usually, at 8:30 they're pretty grumpy," said Sara Berns, Executive Director of Discover Pacific Beach. "By 3 o'clock though, everyone has a great attitude."

Berns was helping violators sign up for the "Instant justice" program which offers people who've been ticketed for minor, non-traffic infractions the opportunity to wipe their records clean by paying a 40 dollar fee, followed by 6 hours of picking up trash in the business district bordering the beach.

Participants were not in a mood to be officially interviewed Thursday but did share anecdotal stories of being sighted for things like having a glass container and drinking wine on the beach. A few said they felt blind-sided but were relieved they could get the tickets wiped out.

Meanwhile, the Surfrider Foundation, I Love A Clean San Diego and Coast Keeper, had volunteer groups picking up trash at several locations along the coast. A couple of the volunteers 10News spoke to Pacific Beach said they were impressed by how much cleaner the beaches were even before they started their work. They credited the City of San Diego with putting out more trash cans.

"I found it remarkably clean, frankly," said volunteer Ed Gallagher. "You can see all the trash cans; they're all lined up really close. It's early in the morning. They've already been emptied. So, people have been working yesterday and early this morning to keep it clean."

Gallagher said the top pieces of trash were cigarette butts. But even that's diminished as fewer people smoke these days. 

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