ENCINITAS — More than 150 volunteers gathered at Moonlight Beach on June 20 to celebrate International Surfing Day and take part in an afternoon beach cleanup organized by the Surfrider Foundation.
International Surfing Day celebrates the sport of surfing and promotes
protecting our oceans,
Laurie Gartrell, Surfrider Foundation volunteer coordinator and executive committee member, said.
The trash pickup targets for the day were plastics and cigarette butts.
A whopping 75 percent of the trash collected in cleanups is commonly plastics. “Plastic doesn’t biodegrade effectively,” Bill Hickman, Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter coordinator, said.
To reduce the use of plastics, the day’s zero waste cleanup efforts asked volunteers to bring their own containers to carry trash.
Participants, who were
ready to get the job done, came armed with bags and buckets. Plastic gloves and trash data cards were provided.
“The data card quantifies what you’re finding,” Alessandro Frashetti, Surfrider Foundation cleanup coordinator, said. “It all adds up.”
In 20-minutes, 11-year-old Ryan Myers, who was picking up trash with her dad and brother, already had a full 10-gallon bucket.
“I found 100 cigarette butts already,” Ryan said.
“Cigarette butts are one of the worst things and that’s what you find the most
of,” Paul Myers, of Carlsbad, said.
For Grace Race and 15-year-old Annalisa Race, who are members of the Del Sol Chapter of the National Charity League, participating in community trash cleanups is a regular way to give back to the environment. “We’ve participated in six,” Grace Race, of Cardiff, said. “We come out whenever we can.”
Free food, raffle prizes, and giveaways donated by D Street Bar and Grill, KPRI Radio, and 7-Eleven added extra motivation to get the job.
Beach cleanups are regularly held the third Saturday of each month at Moonlight Beach.
Alessandro Frashetti began Moonlight Beach cleanups three years ago as his personal way to give back to the environment. Surfrider Foundation got word of his efforts, named him beach cleanup coordinator, and supports his monthly Moonlight Beach cleanups.
Surfrider Foundation counts on community volunteers and its members to pitch in and help with cleanup efforts. “Most of our members are involved in hands-on programs campaigns,” Gartrell said. “They’re doing this out of goodness of their hearts.”