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Coastal Cleanup at Malibu Lagoon Report: Sat. 17 Sep, 2011

September 19, 2011

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Click on the pictures above to make them larger. September 17th was the 27th International Coastal Cleanup….. as my t-shirt said “Mi costa es su costa”  and so it is.Santa Monica Bay Audubon Board and members were out in force as the organizers of the Malibu Lagoon cleanup site  – for the nthyear –  enthusiastically giving back to the environment.  It may have been an overcast day, but there were many smiles and for a change, no sunburns.  SMBAS was cheered by the 419 total volunteers – our biggest turn out yet –  who gave up some of their Saturday to pick up 290 pounds of trash and to make a difference.

Per preliminary reports,  the almost 11,000 volunteers in Los Angeles County picked up 22 tons of debris. This is even more impressive when one realizes that much of the debris is tiny, tiny stuff – cigarette butts, Styrofoam bits, plastic and paper wrapper parts;  heavy things – wood, metal, ceramics, etc. – are the exception.  One of our members recorded picking up over 1100 items in 3 hours, about 30 of which were identifiable – the rest were little pieces of who-knows-what.

So what was there ?  One person found a bag of rotting oranges and two plates and another an electric mixer ( sorry, no beaters) – could someone be whipping up a cake at Malibu?  A dead television, an ex-cell phone, a switchblade knife, tennis balls, a lacrosse ball (where did that come from?), single flip flops and a humongous amount of…well, trash… were bagged, weighed and removed.  The encouraging part of the day is the learning possibility; do not let things end up in the ocean.  We can protect birds, other wildlife, and our environment one little bit at a time.

NOTE: Our board decided to not make public photos of people, especially kids, who didn’t officially OK our posting their pictures.  That’s why there’s no pictures of the other 400 people who showed up to work.             [Ellen Vahan]

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