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San Diego Volunteers Clean More Than 500 Pounds Of Trash From Mission Bay

Listen up, Mission Bay smokers: San Diego Coastkeeper is covering your butts — cigarette butts, that is — or at least those of tobacco users who've haphazardly tossed them to the ground.

The nonprofit environmental group and approximately 200 volunteers combed the area Saturday for the second annual Clean the Bay Day, which overlapped with National Make a Difference Day. In total, they collected 1,499 cigarette butts among 561 pounds of trash and debris.

Costakeer's executive director Megan Baehrens said the stogie stubs are the number one polluting agent the group comes across.

"It's just a pervasive problem," she said. "It's one we've been working on for a long time to figure out how we can address it from a variety of angles."

Some of the more obscure items gathered include a homemade cot and a rusted shopping cart.

Costakeeper aims to keep clean all of San Diego's fishable, drinkable and swimmable waters. Its annual clean-up day is organized in partnership with SeaWorld, which sits on the bay.

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