Surfrider Foundation San Diego is holding its “Morning After Mess” Beach Cleanup Series on Wednesday, July 5.
Thousands of residents and visitors will flock to San Diego’s beaches to celebrate the 4th of July this Monday. While the beach is an epic place to celebrate the fourth, The Surfrider Foundation has long referred to July 5th as “The Morning After Mess.” On this day, volunteers remove incredible amounts of red, white, and blue single-use plastic cups, food packaging, abandoned belongings, fireworks, and cigarette butts from beaches nationwide. In 2022, 500 volunteers removed 1,600 pounds of trash from five beaches in only two hours.
The “Morning After Mess” Cleanup Series will be held from 8-11 a.m. at Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach Dog Park Estuary, Mission Beach Park, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, Fiesta Island, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, and the Oceanside Pier. Surfrider volunteers will host the Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach Pier, and Oceanside Pier sites. Partner organizations will be hosting San Diego River Park Foundation at Dog Beach, San Diego Coastkeeper at Mission Beach, I Love A Clean San Diego at Fiesta Island, Paddle For Peace at Pacific Beach, and Un Mar De Colores at Moonlight Beach.
The Morning After Mess showcases the disastrous consequences of our reliance on wasteful, single-use plastic products on our coastal environment.
The San Diego County Chapter and partners host the Morning After Mess cleanup series each year to help tackle the mess. These cleanups are open to the public; registration is at https://sandiego.surfrider.org/mam. Bags, gloves, and trash grabbers will be provided while supplies last, but participants are encouraged to bring their reusable supplies if they have them.
“These cleanups raise awareness about how prevalent single-use plastic items, are and help us document exactly what ends up on the sand, so we can advocate for informed policy reform,” said Alex Ferron, chapter manager for Surfrider Foundation San Diego. “We hope to see folks ditch common single-use plastic items. Plastic waste like bottled water, cups, plates, utensils, etc., can be easily replaced with reusable versions — which are much less likely to be left behind and help reduce our collective impact.”
The Surfrider Foundation San Diego has a handful of programs working to fight plastic pollution in San Diego. The Rise Above Plastics program has been key in introducing and passing single-use plastic and polystyrene ordinances across San Diego County. The program uses outreach, education, and advocacy to cut down on single-use plastics before they reach the coast.