Hundreds volunteer for coastal cleanup

September 19, 2009 5:39:29 PM PDT
The 25th annual Coastal Cleanup Day took place on Saturday. So far, more than 800,000 pounds of garbage has been collected, statewide; that number is expected to grow, as we get more reports from across California.

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Even environmentally friendly San Francisco has its share of garbage which ends up in the Bay. What came out of the Bay will surprise you -- shopping carts, tires, an old loveseat and syringes.

"Really disgusting and I don't like seeing the needles and the bad stuff here. You just wonder why people do this to our nature," said volunteer Julia Rodriguez.

Scott Baublitz came with his daughter Sophie and co-workers from the Hilton Hotel.

"We do it because it's what is right to do for our community. Sophie is 10-years-old right here and she is going to take over the earth and we want to leave her something that she can enjoy like we have," said Baublitz.

It took volunteers hours to clean up waters in San Francisco's Bayview.

The women's and men's rowing team from Berkeley High helped clean up the water's near Jack London Square in Oakland.

Many do it to help save birds and other wildlife.

"Everything from this plastic bag was all inside one Laysan Albatross," said ecologist Myla Ablog.

Stuff like fishlines, bottle caps, and rubber tubings.

"And so they are filling up their stomachs with these plastic things and then there's not a lot of room left for real food," said Ablog.

About 100 people showed up at Jack Rabbit picnic area behind Monster Park.

"I haven't been surprised on this beach cleanup sometimes you find syringes, dirty diapers and more disgusting stuff," said volunteer Blade Corwin.

"Styrofoam, a lot of Styrofoam. I'm so glad we've changed the laws in San Francisco there is tons of cellophane and Styrofoam and old lighters," said volunteer Andrea Reed.

And the efforts to clean up our shoreline don't end here. For example, "Save the Bay," the organization which sponsors this yearly event is also pushing for more legislation to stop trash from getting into our waterways.

San Francisco was the first city in the country to ban plastic bags at retail stores.

"We are asking the mayors of Bay Area cities to prioritize legislation that would ban plastic and paper bags at all retail locations in their city," said Save the Bay's Jessica Castelli.

San Jose is now considering banning all plastic bags.

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