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SD Group Plans Cleanup After Thousands Hit The Beaches

Beaches along the San Diego County coastline are bound to be a mess today following Independence Day celebrations, so the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has cleanups scheduled at four locations.

Volunteers are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park and the foot of Pacific Beach Drive -- all in San Diego -- and the South Harbor Jetty in Oceanside.

"Cities and state parks generally do a great job keeping the beaches clean during the July 4th holiday, but nothing can replace or duplicate the efforts of our volunteers after big weekends like this,'' said Chapter Coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone. "Sometimes the beaches may not look so bad, but nearby streets and sidewalks can be a mess.''

Last year, the cleanup effort resulted in 1,025 pounds of trash and 255 pounds of recyclable items being collected.

Environmental groups say carelessly discarded cigarette butts and plastic products make up the bulk of the debris found on beaches. Last year's haul included nearly 7,000 cigarette butts and 270 plastic bags, which are harmful to marine life.

For those who want to volunteer, there is no need to pre-register, according to Surfrider, but those under 18 need the consent of a parent or guardian.

Volunteers are urged to bring work gloves and a reusable bag or bucket -- although those items can be provided by the foundation to those who come without them.

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