I’m a college student studying for my BA in Outdoor Recreation, a children’s outdoor educator for California State Parks, and a former nature interpreter for the federal government, and yet none of those experiences warmed my heart in comparison to what I witnessed at Carlsbad State Beach last weekend.
During our clean up on San Diego area State Beaches, more than 1,000 lbs of trash was removed. A large percentage of the rubbish collected was recyclable material that included plastic bags, bottles and containers. All of the recyclable plastics and other recyclable materials retrieved that day have been removed from the litter stream and are now on their way to becoming useful new products.
Coastal Clean Up Day – like many other similar types of beach clean-ups, educational programs, and festivals – is part of our California State Parks Anti-Litter Youth Education Program. This program is funded by Keep California Beautiful (KCB) and the American Chemistry Council, which has kindly provided hundreds of recycling bins and educational signage on State Park beaches all over Central and Southern California. This program, funded and supported by the plastics industry, teaches kids in San Diego-area schools about the value of recycling and protecting the environment. This important educational curriculum reached more than 6,000 children and adults in 2009 and begins its 2nd year with hopes of bigger numbers in 2010.
In addition to educational programs that will hopefully prevent litter, placing recycling bins on our beaches and organizing cleanups, we are always open to new ideas of how to keep our coastline clean. We encourage you to follow in our footsteps and attempt to make a difference. What measures are you taking in your local area to promote recycling, cleaner communities, and a brighter future for the next generation?
The following is a post from Laura Ohman, California State Parks educator.