Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 28
Locals get the opposite of trashed
BY RYAN MILLER
At first, it sounds like the remnants of a Vegas wedding after-party: High-heeled boots. Bras. Men’s briefs. A gavel. Fake fingernails. A barbecue.
Then, it starts to get a little weird: A Barbie doll. A ski jacket. A cat scratcher?
It makes a bit more sense, however, in the proper context. Volunteers gathered almost 2,000 pounds of trash—boots, briefs, barbecue, and Barbie included—from Santa Barbara County beaches and waterways on Sept. 15.
About 850 locals spent their Saturday scouring 23 beaches and creeks around the county, collecting 1,970 pounds of garbage and 622 pounds of recyclables from Carpinteria Beach to the Guadalupe Dunes. All told, they covered more than 40 miles of trash-littered land.
The annual Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest such volunteer event in the county and is coordinated by the County Public Works Department, which aims to improve the region’s environment by pulling debris from area waterways.
“We were once again overwhelmed by the community support,” Alan Nakashima, who coordinated the event for the Public Works Department, said in a press release. “It’s inspiring to see so many of our residents actively participate in keeping our beaches and creeks clean. The volunteers made a huge difference in protecting our local environment.”
Not everything was as exciting as gavels and boots, however. Volunteers scooped food wrappers, plastic bags, and cigarette butts from the sand and its surroundings. They also found a duck that had gotten tangled in fishing line.
The annual cleanup event is part of California Coastal Cleanup Day, presented by the California Coastal Commission, and International Coastal Cleanup Day, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, the latter of which analyzes data collected to develop policy and secure funding to preserve U.S. waterways.
Next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Sept. 21. For more information on Santa Barbara County’s cleanup efforts, visit lessismore.org.