Calling All Volunteers for Storm Debris Cleanup

Calling All Volunteers for Storm Debris Cleanup title=
Hammonds Beach on Saturday January 7, 2023. Photo by Valerie Aroyan
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By Heal the Ocean


The recent winter storms brought in large quantities of debris - plastic, tires, and trash to our shores. In response, citizen groups and residents are forming to clean their local beaches by picking up trash and taking action to tackle this problem.

It is up to us to take action and protect our beaches.

Heal the Ocean asks you to join in this effort - now, and in the storms to come. HTO will provide all volunteers with trash bags (cleaned, used horse feed bags), sturdy gloves to protect your hands, and Heal the Ocean will arrange pick up for the trash collected.

Please call Jasmin at the HTO office at (805) 965-7570 starting Monday (1/9) to pick-up the free supplies or report location(s) of trash. piles. We will be offering this service through the winter storms this season - and beyond.

PLEASE JOIN US! A quick call will do it all.

Thank you!

Andrew Velikanje is working for HTO by cleaning up the boats that are washing ashore off East Beach. 

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Harbor_Seal Jan 08, 2023 12:19 PM
Calling All Volunteers for Storm Debris Cleanup

You know who should be out in full force cleaning our beaches?

Commercial Lobster Fishermen!

Their derelict fishing gear is all over our beaches! Yesterday while walking just ONE mile off Mesa Lane I counted 11 Commercial Lobster Traps washed up on the beach and 26 plastic floats, with no traps attached, which means those traps are still in the ocean acting as ghost traps; trapping all sorts of sea creatures who then die needlessly in these cages!

California Commercial Lobster Fishermen report over 6,000 traps lost each year in our ocean to California Fish & Game… who estimate this number is VASTLY under-reported.

Each trap on average uses 65 feet of plastic rope, a plastic float and contains a collection of plastic bait containers & plastic components. They’ll tell you they are designed to self-destruct after a year or two, but any gumshoe can see they regularly use aluminum and stainless steel assembly components (instead of rustable cheap steel) which take many more years fall apart. This trap loss equates, in mass, to over ONE MILLION plastic soda straws directly lost in the sea off our coast EACH YEAR!

Each trap is required by law to have a tag identifying the owner, but don’t be surprised when you see someone walking the beach and clipping these tags from the traps… who does this? Typically the Commercial Lobstermen- who don’t want to be held accountable for their mess.

Traps are heavy and usually require more than one person to move any distance. It’s time to free-up the volunteers’ efforts to focus on the little things and get the California Commercial Lobstermen to clean up their mess!!

In over 10 years of monitoring this problem, I can only think of 4 local Commercial Lobster permit holders who make a minimal effort to clean up their mess and they are usually accompanied by a team of volunteers… why are volunteers cleaning up after for-profit businesses, especially when the owners of the derelict gear is marked??

CreekMoe Jan 09, 2023 11:57 AM
Calling All Volunteers for Storm Debris Cleanup

in past years, most of the debris comes from upstream and the hobo camps.
the stuff gets washed down to the ocean or somewhere below State Street?
seems the city could put fish nets or chain link fencing at several places to
collect the rubbish before it reaches the ocean.
or in past years, there have been ice chests, coolers, bedrolls, beach balls, bikes,
clothing, perfume bags, beverage containers, electronics, CDs, DVDs, blankets, etc.
a good spot to start would be in front of the 101 underpass for Calle Amigos Creek or
by the old Sears. other spots that allow for easy cleanup would be by the new Allan Rd
park , along maintenance roads. but nobody cleans up the debris unless a big rain
comes. ie more than half an inch of rain should get a response ASAP.

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