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BEACH CLEANUPS
Every year in September, we sponsor a beach cleanup in Ocean Beach, in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup event. Dozens of volunteers, young and old, gather at the Cottage Walk Dune Overpass to collect and identify trash & debris along the beach. Snacks are provided and prizes are given out to the children. We typically gather and catalogue over 100 pounds of refuse. Be on the lookout for the next beach clean-up coming later this year!

The impact of VOBEC’s International Coastal Clean-up Day continues to grow! In September 2019, we increased the number of communities and the number of participants. 159 people took the time to collect 7677 pieces of trash during a 2-hour period, up from 104 people and 3653 items in 2018!

Even on a sunny day, we had enthusiastic volunteers that understood the importance of keeping our beaches clean. These participants found more plastic and more straws than the previous year. The interesting change was the number of plastic bottle caps found, increasing 350% from the prior year, from 278 caps to 970. These bottle caps accounted for 12.64% of the total trash found on the beach in 2019. Although cigarette butts collected were a lower percentage than last year, the raw number increased to 1065 compared to 567 last year. Plastics were the most collected item, accounting for 53% of all trash found, compared to 48% the prior year.

On a positive note, the percentage of balloons found was 2% as opposed to 4% last year. The most unusual items of local concern were shot gun shells, syringes, string from weed wackers, Juul pods and sharp metal pieces.

As we continue to coordinate these beach clean-ups, we hope to increase awareness of “cleaning up after yourselves” so our numbers can start to decrease. Imagine what we can do by reminding people to take their bottle caps and plastic when leaving the beach!

Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to seeing you next year where we will hopefully find less trash.

For more information on this project, visit the Ocean Conservancy website:
» oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/

Results from 2019:
» cleanup2019-chart.pdf

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