The Clean Water Now! Coalition organized Laguna Beach’s event for the California Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, hauling around 1,000 pounds of trash from the beach.
Of the 594 people who combed Laguna’s beaches for junk Saturday, only about 20% were from the city. Roger Butow of Clean Water Now! said the trash is a fraction of the 2,000 to 3,000 pounds that have routinely been pulled up since the group started sponsoring the cleanup seven years ago.
“It really kind of freaked me out,” Butow said.
According to Butow, several factors may have contributed to the less-than-average haul.
Tides were higher than normal Saturday, which blocked off some of the surf and intertidal zones that would normally be patrolled. Butow also said the low rainfall over the last two years has flushed less trash into the water from the land.
On the brighter end of the possibilities, he said, it may be the work done by Clean Water Now! and other like-minded ocean protection groups is paying off. Butow said the publicity may be getting other folks to clean up the beach on their own. This, of course, would be the best scenario and a validation that beach cleanups are helping.
“This could be an anomaly,” Butow said. “Only next year will tell.”
One unusual item was reported: a card table.
— Josh Aden