As summer ends, the Ventura Regional Sanitation District is inviting people back to the beach--to clean up after those who didn't.
The district, working with the California Coastal Commission, is seeking to enlist a battalion of environmental commandos to comb 45 miles of shoreline during the sixth annual Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 22.
"We use the beaches, but we leave a lot of ourselves behind," district spokeswoman Kitty Dill said. "This is an opportunity for people to know they have made a difference and improved the environment."
Summer traffic on the county's beaches has taken a severe toll in many areas, particularly around Ormond Beach, the Rincon oil pier, Ventura Harbor south of McGrath State Beach, and the south jetty in Channel Islands Harbor, Dill said.
Preliminary checks indicate that the beaches are generally dirtier than at the end of last season, she said.
Last year, the district recruited 791 people to scour 21 beaches from the Rincon pier to Leo Carrillo State Beach in Los Angeles County.
Even more hands will be needed this season since the district has added five miles of beachfront to the cleanup with the addition of the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu and an area near the Santa Barbara County line.
Volunteers will be sent out in groups of three--one assigned to retrieve recyclable items, a second to pick up non-recyclables and a third to list collected refuse for the Coastal Commission.