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SAN DIEGO — Beaches are busy along San Diego’s coastline thanks to lifted coronavirus restrictions and the busy summer season.

With droves of tourists and locals comes an increase in trash on our beaches, which already saw an uptick in litter in the form of masks and gloves during the pandemic. San Diegans flocked to the coast during partial lockdowns while restrictions on gatherings led to fewer beach cleanups.

Now that one of the busiest beach days is quickly approaching, San Diego County’s Surfrider Foundation is reminding people the importance of keeping trash off the beach and out of the ocean.

“July Fourth is the dirtiest beach day of the year,” Surfrider Foundation Manager Mitch Silverstein said. “It’s a day when we really try to get in front of the problem with some of these recommendations and reminders.”

Silverstein said an easy way to avoid littering is to stop bringing single-use plastic to the beach in the first place. He said even with the most responsible beachgoers, there’s always a chance some will end up as litter.

He pointed to common pieces of trash left behind, including plastic water bottle caps and pieces of plastic on children’s juice drinks. He said they are better left at home.

Surfrider will be hard at work during the next two weeks, advocating for responsible Fourth of July celebrations — and cleaning up after them.

“We’ll be at a lot of beaches from Imperial Beach all the way up to Oceanside doing strike teams and cleanups on July 5,” Silverstein said. “If you’re interested in joining those cleanups and seeing for your own eyes what our beaches look like, and how we unintentionally trash our beaches, and the things we can do to make it better, then I strongly suggest signing up.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can find more information here.