Volunteers clean up beaches after holiday

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July 5th Beach CleanupSAN DIEGO — Hundreds of volunteers helped clean up four beaches in San Diego and Oceanside Friday after Fourth of July celebrations.

“Morning After Mess” cleanups were held at Belmont Park, Crystal Pier and Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego, and the beach at the south harbor jetty in Oceanside, were sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Ocean Beach was the biggest mess because of an annual marshmallow fight that has grown in popularity in recent years, Haley Haggerstone of the foundation said. She called it “a sticky mess.”

“It’s no wonder so many people choose to celebrate Independence Day on our beaches here in San Diego, but more visitors means more trash, which threatens our oceans, waves and beaches,” Haggerstone said. “We want to remind everyone to stay classy, not trashy and help keep our beaches clean — it’s kind of a big deal.”

The amount of waste collected each year has decreased since a ban on alcohol at San Diego beaches went into effect in 2008, she said.

About 450 volunteers collected 2,372 pounds of trash this year, about 250 pounds less than last year, Haggerstone said. They also picked up 195 pounds of recyclables.

She said they also recovered 764 plastic bags, 1,163 pieces of styrofoam and 12,685 cigarette butts.

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