uFixIt: Woman wants more done to keep beach clean

August 2, 2012 9:11:21 PM PDT
Ocean Beach is the biggest beach in San Francisco -- with that comes big problems. Trash and graffiti clutter the beach and one local woman doesn't think the city is doing enough to clean it up.

Robin Savage walks the shores of Ocean Beach with her son Blake Louie almost every day. She says the garbage and graffiti problems are a constant eyesore and a threat to the wildlife. She's had enough.

"I feel like San Francisco really doesn't care about this beach," she said. "That's how I feel when I walk along here. It's like, it shouldn't look like this."

Savage says authorities need to step it up and get tough with people who deface sea walls and dump trash.

"Make people accountable for committing all this crime," she said. "I mean, it's against the law to do this so I feel like people just don't care."

Although it skirts the city, the Ocean Beach is actually federal park land and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. GGNRA spokesperson Alexandra Picavet says when it comes to litter, urban Ocean Beach has a public relations problem.

"People usually understand when you say 'pack it in, pack it out' when they're in a natural area but they might not recognize this is also a natural area," Picavet said.

On a busy day, workers come through and pick up trash sometimes twice a day or more. They barely keep up. But as far as graffiti, they are losing the battle.

"Graffiti is just a complete draw on out time, our budget," Picavet said.

Picavet says they are tough on lawbreakers

"We will prosecute every case that we can make when we catch someone defacing government property," she said. "It carries with it a heavy fine, stiff penalties."

But she could not tell ABC7 News how many litter citations they have given out in the last year or how many graffiti cases they have won.

That is Savage's point -- that people doing all the damage have nothing to fear.

"I mean people like me, I'm a law abiding citizen but these people committing these acts are on a protected species list or something," Savage said. "You know, why should I have to see this stuff every day?"

Park authorities say they're working on a public awareness campaign aimed at beach vandals. They are also asking for the public's help. They want people to call their 24 hour dispatch line at 415-561-5505 when they see something that needs cleaned up or a crime in progress.

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