lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica
trash collected for 20 min.
1,225.2 pounds total
8 cigarette butts
For the first time I can remember, I got angry doing my 20 min. beach cleanup. I share this to relay the human range of emotions I go through while sticking to this task. Most of the time, I focus on the solutions, leading by example, putting up links in my posts to inform people of larger ocean conservation issues, but this night anger welled up. It had to do with a family, and some styrafoam cups, and some sand castles, but I'll leave it at that. The point is, I didn't shame them, or retaliate when met with their rolling eyes. I quietly picked up the trash surrounding them. I did not want them to have a negative association with beach cleaner-uppers, and therefor the larger issues at hand; protecting our oceans, our families health, and taking a stand for the environment as a whole.
It's the end of summer. People will come to the beach less even in Southern California. I'm looking forward to those fall sunsets when it's me, the sea gulls, some joggers and surfers in their full wetsuits.
I skipped Labor Day last weekend, and I can't remember why. But my hunch is that seeing the trash strewn across the beach over the long weekend, like the 4th of July, or really any Sunday night in the summer, was too much. Here are the two previous years.
You'll spot the similar items of plastic trash immediately.
Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, 2010 - September 2, 2010
Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, 2009 - Sept. 6, 2009