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We’re ready to clean-up the beach – are you?

La Jolla Shores is not only a gorgeous beach and a great place for ocean sports – it’s also the doorway to one of the oldest marine protected area in Southern California and a refuge for many ocean species. Stewardship of this unique marine area has been a part of the culture of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego since the institution’s inception more than 100 years ago.

Cleaning up the beach is a family event. Photo by M. Rose

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is happy to continue that tradition by hosting the California Coastal Cleanup Day at La Jolla Shores on Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m.-noon.

Last year more than 170 volunteers converged on La Jolla Shores and Scripps Beach as part of an international effort to cleanup our beaches and waterways.  They found a lot of trash:

  • 104 plastic bags
  • 25 shoes and t -shirts
  • 318 food wrappers and containers
  • 35 discarded toys
  • 545 cigarettes
  • 71 balloons
  • 145 soda caps and lids
  • 107 plastic straws and stirrers

Many of these items were made of plastic. In 2009, Scripps students and researchers traveled to the Pacific Gyre to study the problem of plastics in the ocean. The first results of data collected from the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition, or SEAPLEX, cruise hit the scientific literature this summer. The recent study, published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, found that more than 9 percent of fishes collected during the voyage had evidence of plastic waste in their stomachs. From this data SEAPLEX researchers estimate that tens of thousands of tons of debris are annually ingested by fish in middle ocean depths of North Pacific Ocean.

You can help make a difference. Join more 80,000 volunteers statewide in helping to stem the tide of plastics in the oceans by volunteering this year at La Jolla Shores or at a cleanup near you.

  • Pre-register online to download your required waiver
  • Bring your own reusable bucket, gloves and water bottle
  • Kids and young adults are encouraged to participate in the new Decorate Your Bucket contest
  • Community service credit forms are available on the day of the event
  • Scout groups may order patches in advance

We’ll see you on the beach!

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