Coastal Clean-Up

Conquering Marine Debris

Thousands upon thousands of volunteers combed coastal regions and waterways on International Coastal Cleanup Day for trash and waste removal.  These photos by Charmaine Coimbra were taken at Estero Bluffs State Park, with volunteers from the Cayucos Land Conservancy in cooperation with the local coordinating agency, ECOSLO.

Join the World In Coastal Clean-Up Sat., Sept. 16

The first California coast cleanup began in the mid 1970s when an Arcata recycler operated beach cleanups in search of recyclables. Oregon, however, was the first state to organize a state-wide volunteer beach cleanup in 1984, called the “Plague of Plastics.”
The California Coastal Commission began the California Coastal Cleanup in 1985. From 1985 through 2016, 23,054,067 pounds of trash and recyclables were removed and properly disposed or recycled by 1,437, 549 volunteers, the commission reports.

Balloons that Fall to Earth and Sea

Of the 40 balloons Russ reported, 31 were made of Mylar. This is discouraging, as despite their one-time use, Mylar balloons take a long time to degrade. These balloons were more likely than other balloon types to be found individually and still partially inflated. Rubber balloons, another prevalent balloon type, were more likely to be found deflated or shredded, and often tied together in groups. Many of the reported balloons also had a plastic string attached, creating yet another hazard for marine life.