Source: Explore Ecology
The 34th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15, 2018 was a huge success. This year over 1,149 volunteers at 27 sites from Rincon Beach Park to Guadalupe Dunes came together to clean up Santa Barbara’s waterways. Santa Barbara County volunteers picked up over 3,530 pounds of trash and 971 pounds of recyclables for a total of 4,502 pounds of waste.
In Santa Barbara County, with 8 of 27 sites reporting, the following are some of the many materials that were found last Saturday. (These numbers will rise as more sites send in their data.)
Plastic Pieces: 3,816 pieces of plastic
Cigarette Butts: 2,238
Plastic Bottle Caps: 430
Food Wrappers: 747
Plastic Beverage Bottles: 200
Plastic Bags: 231
Cigar Tips: 95
Dog waste is also a commonly found item with 89 bags found at Bates Beach alone!
The most unusual items found in Santa Barbara County were a Weather Balloon, a BB Gun, a whole Fire Hose, a Flip Phone, and a Giant Teddy Bear. Winners of the statewide Most Unusual Item Contest were a painting of a marsh found in a marsh and a Coca-Cola can from 1963.
Rachel Palmer, Coordinator of Coastal Cleanup Day for Explore Ecology, says, “We’re so grateful to everyone who came out to help. It was our best attended Coastal Cleanup Day yet! Each volunteer made an impact on our beaches. Every piece of plastic picked up is one less piece of plastic in the ocean.”
Coastal Cleanup Day is part of a much larger international event. Statewide, 53,073 Californians picked up 698,931 pounds of trash and an additional 35,674 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 734,606 pounds or 367 tons. Volunteers cleaned at over 1,000 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties, the largest collection of sites in the cleanup’s history. Cleanups took place up and down the coast, from the Oregon to Mexico border and as far inland as Lake Tahoe.
Coastal Cleanup Day is made possible with the help of local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who volunteer their time to make a difference.
Next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 21st, 2019. Stay tuned for details on Explore Ecology’s website: ExploreEcology.org/Coastal-
For volunteers who don’t want to wait until next year to participate in a beach cleanup, Explore Ecology sponsors a Monthly Beach Cleanup, on the 2nd Sunday of every month from 10:00 pm to 12:00 pm at Arroyo Burro Beach.
In Santa Barbara County, Coastal Cleanup Day is brought to the community by Explore Ecology, with the support of the County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery and Waste Management and the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta.
About Explore Ecology: Explore Ecology is an environmental education and arts nonprofit that works with over 30,000 children a year, inspiring them to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Explore Ecology programs include the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store and Gallery, Watershed Resource Center, and School Gardens Program. For more information, visit ExploreEcology.org.