Coastal Cleanup 2005 Results
San Diego, CA— Well over 4,000 volunteers joined together at nearly 60 coastal and inland cleanup sites to help protect and restore the health of our waterways at the 21st annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD). San Diego Baykeeper, which coordinates coastal cleanup sites, and I Love a Clean San Diego, which coordinates inland cleanups, estimate that volunteers removed over 145,600 pounds of trash and 5,400 pounds of recyclables at CCD 2005 (with 75% of sites reported).
“We are proud to again sponsor an event that brings so many people together in a positive way to protect our natural resources while beautifying our communities,” stated San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox. “This event is not only an important way to restore our beaches and inland waterways to health; it helps raise awareness that we must take care in our personal activities to ensure that we make every day ‘coastal cleanup day’.”
CCD 2005 was presented by Supervisor Greg Cox and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Additional sponsors include: Volunteer 8 (a partnership between Local 8, Wells Fargo, and Volunteer San Diego), Albertsons, Birch Aquarium, Clif Bar, Digiteers, Dog Beach Dog Wash, EDCO, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Fallbrook Refuse Services, Hike*Bike*Kayak, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Jet Blue Airlines, Motorola, Naked Juice, NASSCO, Pacific Waste Services, Sea World, See’s Candy, Starbucks Coffee, The Birch Aquarium, Urban Corps of San Diego and Waste Management.
First organized in 1985 by the California Coastal Commission, California Coastal Cleanup Day began with just 2,500 volunteers. Over the years, in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the cleanup has grown to become one of the world’s largest volunteer events.
“The only way a program like this stays in business all these years is because the people of California love to participate,” says Eben Schwartz, Statewide Outreach Coordinator for the California Coastal Commission. “It’s more than a cleanup – it’s an event that helps bring every Californian together to set a benchmark for what environmental stewardship can mean.”
The most common items found on area beaches are cigarette butts and plastics, both of which can be deadly to marine life. In fact, scientists estimate that debris kills tens of thousands of sea birds and marine mammals each year from entanglement or ingestion when it reaches the nation’s waters.
“Coastal Cleanup Day provides a great opportunity for every person to make a real difference in the health of our local waters,” added Elizabeth Studebaker of San Diego Baykeeper. “Besides being an eyesore and public health threat on local beaches, trash left on our beaches will ultimately get into the ocean and harm wildlife.”
Not all trash and debris in our oceans comes from beachgoers. The California Coastal Commission reports that up to 80% of marine debris that reaches our coastal areas comes from inland areas through stormdrains and tributaries.
“While Coastal Cleanup Day originated on our coast, the fact that we coordinate almost 30 inland cleanups is a testament to the increasing awareness that the health of our coast depends on protecting our inland waterways,” noted Sarah Leone of I Love a Clean San Diego.
All 50 states and over 90 countries participated in International Coastal Cleanup this year, making it the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world. In addition to collecting trash from the earth’s waterways, volunteers also collect data during the cleanup, providing important clues as to the nature and source of the trash.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is about much more than picking up trash,” added Supervisor Cox. “It is a hands-on educational experience that teaches all generations of the ongoing importance of protecting all coastal and inland areas. It’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing their respect for our oceans and waterways.”