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Lagoon Cleanup – Int’l Coastal Cleanup Day 9-15-18

September 24, 2018

This was a Good Cleanup Day at the lagoon.

On the beach, with bags (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

168 people showed up, signed in and spread out from beach to lagoon and up the creek. True, total pre-sign-ups were a bit over 300, but this is slightly better than last year, when 300 signed up and 157 showed up. Eleven SMBAS worker bees appeared, setting up tables & shade awning, greeting, taking signed waivers, giving safety talks, handing out bags and gloves, then weighing-in the returning trash and giving water to thirsty picker-uppers.

Lu makes signs (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

Our bonus helper, Flo, brought Judge Ken, who ruled impartially on whether waivers had been properly filled out or not. Ken recently thrashed his knee and was definitely hobbling, but once he was in the chair and behind the bench he seemed right at home.

Structuring the shade tent (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

The weather was perfect, at least for worker bees. It was a bit warmer for picker-uppers and if you wore glasses, they were soon enough sliding down your sweaty nose when you stooped to pick up some minuscule mote of colored plastic.

Mary discovers a banana among the waivers (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

Among the volunteers were a group of adorable tiny girl scouts, and teacher Dean returned yet again with his dozens of Humanitas students and a large box of doughnuts. Only a few students needed to have their community service hours signed off – it was mostly lots of cheerful people who contributed some of their Saturday to help the lagoon and beach.

Quien Sabe? (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

Every year we refine the the day just a bit more….next year we’ll bring one less table and definitely less water (those gallon jugs weigh 8 1/2 pounds each and 24 of them were far too many). Then again, the day may be extremely hot – aaaah, who knows what the weather is going to do anymore, anyway?

An L.A. County fire helicopter is really gettin’ down; I wouldn’t want to be on that rooftop patio just then. (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

No one said much about the stinky dead fish. Chuck A. counted 289 dead Striped Mullet along the lagoon & channel shoreline from the topographical water feature by the traffic circle over to the west end of the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, perhaps 2/10ths of a mile of shoreline.

Meanwhile, down on the lagoon edge, a Great Blue Heron picks off an unwary Eared Grebe. (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

In her safety talks, Jean added “do not pick up any dead fish.” Larry – after spending the morning shooing people out of the fenced-in Snowy Plover exclusion zone – suggested placing two people there, as it’s a long, narrow area.

24″ Bolt cutter found on Coastal Cleanup Day at Malibu Lagoon
(L. Plauzoles 9-15-18)

Bolt cutters can cut lots of things: locks of all types, chains, steel cable used for pathway barriers, cables on commercial electric bikes and scooters – they’ll even cut bolts. We found this bolt cutter hiding in the brush between path and channel, about 10-20 yards east of the pavilion meeting area, no doubt a handy location for whomever was using it. We found the cut bicycle lock another 30 yards east between the pathway and the parking lot. About half of the pathside cable between the pavilion and the PCH bridge lookout point is missing – maybe 100 yards. The scooter was in the brush about 5 yards south of the PCH bridge and 3 yards west of the lagoon, very close to an encampment under the bridge consisting of sleeping material and litter.

Two things bolt cutters can cut: pathway border cables, bicycle locks
(Muramaya, Plauzoles, 9-15-18)

A free-ridin’ Lime-S electric scooter was in the brush near the PCH Bridge (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

Some of the more unusual finds at the lagoon:

  • Bolt cutters about 10 lbs. and 24″ long
  • Bicycle lock, cut by guess what? ↑↑↑
  • Lime-S Electric scooter, disabled so you could ride it without motor

Today, Angelenos showed just how much they care for their creeks and their beaches and their favorite parks. The updated totals for Los Angeles County are awesome:

  • 75 locations
  • 13,342 volunteers
  • 40,066 pounds of trash were picked up (ergo NOT going into the ocean!)

Other L.A. County odd items in odder numbers

  • 14 Lobster traps
  • 12 Drug related items
  • 11 Shopping carts
  • 3 Bottles with live mice (yes, they were safely released somewhere in Malibu!)
  • 3 Gold rings
  • 2 Chainsaws
  • 1 Buddha statue
  • 1 Set of Porsche keys
  • and a Vintage 1963 coca cola can

Made in the shade (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

Preliminary results for California, with 75% of sites reporting:

  • Volunteers: 53,073
  • Trash picked up: 698,931 pounds
  • Additional recyclable materials: 35,674 pounds
  • Total: 734,606 pounds or 367 tons
  • A Marin county volunteer found a painting of a marsh in a marsh

We’re still waiting to hear the U.S. and world totals – altogether an amazing worldwide endeavor. Humans are not only capable of great cooperative efforts but enjoy partaking in them, despite frequent indications to the contrary.

Look out next year – September 21st, 2019!

Worker Bees (L. Loeher 9-15-18)

[Ellen Vahan & Chuck Almdale]


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