San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter partner each year to conduct a series of public beach cleanups, averaging four per month, in order to address the issue of trash in our oceans and on our beaches.
In addition to these cleanups, both organizations also host special cleanup events and empower individual volunteers to host their own. These events combined have lead to the removal of over 91,178 pounds of trash from our beaches and waterways since 2007.
In 2017, the program gained even more momentum than in years past, seeing a jump in volunteerism with 8,190 individuals coming out to clean the beaches. The total item count decreased slightly from last year, with corresponding decreases in specific items of interest, such as cigarette butts. This year, 8,190 volunteers removed 118,018 items of trash, weighing 9,352 pounds total, from along our coastline. In 2016, 6,333 volunteers removed 174,542 items of trash, weighing 9,399 pounds total. While we applaud the increases pounds per volunteer effort this year and are heartened to see decreases in certain trash types, we are still troubled by the amount of debris being collected overall.