Santa Barbara: Explore Ecology is proud to be part of the solution to marine pollution by coordinating Santa Barbara County’s Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 16th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is for anyone who loves the ocean. If you’ve ever walked along the beach, noticed trash lying on the shore and wished there was something you could do, there is!” says Jill Cloutier, PR Director at Explore Ecology and Co-Coordinator of Coastal Cleanup Day. “On September 16th, go to your favorite beach, sign in with the Beach Captain and start your cleanup. This year, we hope for a big turnout because unfortunately, there’s enough trash for everyone.”
The 2017 United Nations Clean Seas Campaign estimates that there are 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today. Some of it floats on the surface, while much of it litters the deep sea. This debris can injure and entangle animals and is ingested by fish, birds, and other marine life with dire consequences for their health. Plastic marine debris also acts like a magnet or sponge for hydrophobic chemicals in the seawater, including POPs, (Persistent Organic Pollutants) like PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and furans. When animals ingest plastic, they are also getting a dose of harmful chemicals, which has a detrimental effect on the ocean food chain. How can we combat this problem? One solution is to clean our beaches before the plastic has a chance to make its way to the ocean.
The largest volunteer effort in California, Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) is an effective way to give back to the ocean. beaches, and creeks that make Santa Barbara County such a wonderful place to live. Last year, 921 volunteers collected over 4,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from 27 sites in Santa Barbara County. The most unusual items found? A bag of lottery tickets and a fire hydrant.
Statewide, 69,154 volunteers cleaned up 710,781 pounds of trash and recyclables off of California beaches and waterways in just three hours!
Caroline Bargo, Explore Ecology Environmental Educator and Co-Coordinator says, “Coastal Cleanup Day is a fantastic event to be involved with- it gets people outside, enjoying nature and soaking up the sun, while helping remove hazardous marine debris from our beaches and waterways. At Explore Ecology, we talk a lot about how dangerous plastic is in the ocean and the effects it has on global marine health; if you’ve ever been concerned about this issue, here is your chance to take action locally.”
Explore Ecology is encouraging volunteers to BYO- bring their own reusable gloves, bags or buckets, and reusable water bottles to reduce waste and decrease the plastic footprint of the cleanup.
Volunteers of all ages can participate at any of the 2017 cleanup sites. Pre-registration is not required. Each site will have a captain on hand to provide necessary instructions and supplies. More details are provided at ExploreEcology/coastal-cleanup-day.org or by calling Caroline Bargo (805) 884-0459 x16 . Invite your friends to attend on Facebook by clicking here or visiting https://www.facebook.com/SBCoast.
With more than 27 sites to choose from, isn’t it time to show your favorite beach or creek some love?
Look for beach captains at the following sites in Santa Barbara County:
Jelly Bowl Beach
Lookout Park (Summerland)
Rincon County Beach; Bates
Santa Claus Lane
Arroyo Burro (Hendry’s) Beach
Chase Palm Park Beach
East Beach (between Stearns Wharf & Skate Park) –
East Beach (Mission Creek Lagoon / Laguna Channel)
East Beach (Bath House to Volleyball Courts) –
Isla Vista Streets
El Capitan State Beach
Gaviota State Beach
Refugio State Beach
This year, volunteers can put their cell phones to good use, by installing the Clean Swell App on their phone. Participants can use the App to record each item of trash they collect and then share their effort with family and friends. Clean Swell will instantaneously upload to Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. These data deliver a global snapshot of ocean trash, providing researchers and policy-makers insight to inform solutions. Visit the statewide Coastal Cleanup website for links to download the app. There will be Data Sheets for those who don’t want to or are unable to use the app for recording their trash.
This statewide event is presented by the California Coastal Commission. In Santa Barbara County, the event is organized by Explore Ecology, with the support of the County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery and Waste Management and the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria and with the help of many non-profits, businesses, and generous individuals.
Everyone who participates is part of the solution and is helping to protect the marine wildlife and habitat that are so badly damaged by marine debris. For those who don’t want to stop cleaning Santa Barbara beaches after CCD, they are welcome to join Explore Ecology at their Monthly Beach Cleanups on the 2nd Sunday of every month at Arroyo Burro Beach from Noon to 2:00 pm.
About Explore Ecology: Explore Ecology is an environmental education and arts nonprofit that works with over 30,000 children a year, inspiring them to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Explore Ecology programs include the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store and Gallery, Watershed Resource Center, and School Gardens Program. For more information, visit ExploreEcology.org.