Volunteers clean up more than 1,100 pounds of trash at SD beaches after July 4 holiday weekend

Posted at 4:50 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 21:44:16-04

SAN DIEGO - Volunteers with three environmental groups Tuesday picked up more than 1,100 pounds of trash left on San Diego beaches over the three-day holiday weekend.

The Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego organized the cleanup at the Ocean Beach Pier, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, Belmont Park in Mission Beach and the Oceanside Pier.

Mandy Sackett of Surfrider said the sites were picked because they have a high concentration of beachgoers and notorious reputations for post-Fourth of July trash.

"We are incredibly grateful for all of the volunteers who came out today to help clean the beaches after the busy holiday," Sackett said.

"It is crucial to prevent all the litter left on the beach on July 4th from making its way into our ocean," she said. "Once in the ocean, the debris is devastating to marine life and negatively impacts ocean users."

She said this year brought "a significant decrease in the amount of trash collected" compared to recent prior years.

According to Surfrider, more than 300 volunteers collected 1,131 pounds of trash, 175 plastic bags, 1,526 pieces of polystyrene and 6,547 cigarette butts.

Sackett said volunteers found underwear, curtains and a bike fender at the Ocean Beach Pier; a backpack in a tree and a tampon at Belmont Park; spaghetti and a bra at Crystal Pier; and a baby pacifier and wallet at the Oceanside Pier.