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Volunteers Help Clean Up Beach Trash After Fourth of July

Waves as seen from the Ocean Beach pier, July 29, 2015.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Waves as seen from the Ocean Beach pier, July 29, 2015.

Volunteers Sunday began picking up trash at beaches left by Fourth of July revelers in the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County "Morning After Mess'' cleanup, organizers said.

Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach were targeted by more than 60 volunteers, said Roberta Reilly of the local chapter of Surfrider Foundation, an organization that promotes protection of the ocean and beaches.

"This morning went pretty well from what I've seen so far,'' Reilly said. "I'm stationed in Ocean Beach and we had a little Surfrider crew out doing a cleanup at OB Pier along the grass patches. This morning in OB I saw around 10-15 people doing their own solo cleanups, which was awesome to see.''

Reilly said Ocean Beach wasn't too crowded Saturday night so the trash wasn't unusually bad, aside from lots of fireworks packaging and fragments.

"I've been hearing Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are a bit worse off this morning,'' she said. "Luckily a lot of volunteers signed up to do those areas.''

Reilly said the Surfrider Foundation compiles data sheets during beach cleanups to track what kind of trash and how much of different items are picked up. She said that data might be available at the end of the day.

"From what I have seen so far from the few data sheets sent in it looks like cigarette butts are the hot commodity across the board along with fireworks fragments,'' Reilly said. "The cigarette butts are not uncommon. They are our No. 1 found item at cleanups.''

Volunteers were also encouraged to clean their local parks and neighborhoods, not just the beach, Reilly said.

"Litter all over San Diego County goes down the sewage and water drains and ends up in the ocean,'' Reilly said.

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