The main focus of Coastal Cleanup Day is picking up trash on our beaches, along local creeks and rivers, and in local canyons. But what about the trash that’s already in the water? This year we’re attacking that water-logged trash as well. Adam Hopps joins us for his first Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 15th, as the volunteer Site Captain at our Shelter Island cleanup site.
Partnering with the Silver Gate Yacht Club, Adam hopes to get local boaters involved in cleaning up areas of our waterways that aren’t accessible by foot. Using grabbers and nets, these sea lovers will cleanup trash that is already floating in the water and even use tools to absorb oil that’s floating on top of the water. But enough from us, we’ll let Adam tell you more about it…
What motivated you to volunteer as a Site Captain for Coastal Cleanup Day?
I live on a sailboat in a marina on Shelter Island. Every day I witness the effects of litter and water pollution on our Bay. On a daily basis I see trash (usually plastic bottles and bags) floating on the surface of the water in and around in the marinas, in the Bay and out in the ocean. In the marinas it’s especially bad during low tide when trash has been brought in with the tide and becomes trapped in the shallow areas and in the sand – only accessible from a water craft.
Coastal Cleanup Day is California’s largest volunteer event focused on the marine environment but up until this point boaters haven’t been extremely involved in this event. When I was approached by ILACSD to coordinate a joint land and on-the-water cleanup site, I was thrilled at the idea of engaging boaters to make a difference in our own backyards as well as expanding the reach and environmental impact of this Cleanup.
How long have you been volunteering with ILACSD?
This is my first event and I’m excited to be partnering with the Silver Gate Yacht Club who will host the meet up location.
Why is that site important to you?
Living on a boat in San Diego is a blessed life. We have a dynamic marine & aquatic community, a gorgeous Bay to sail in and beautiful weather year round. It’s really hard to see the Bay tarnished with trash and oil. Even though approximately 80% of marine debris comes from inland communities, many of it makes its way into the open water which beach cleanup volunteers simply cannot access. The boating community is a natural fit for Coastal Cleanup Day because we have access to those areas from our boats, dinghies, kayaks and docks. Also, for the first time, we’re supplying on-the-water volunteers with oil absorbent sheets to use on surface level oil slicks.
We’re immensely lucky to have a magnificent natural resource like the San Diego Bay to call home and need to do our part to conserve and protect it.
What are you most looking forward to at Coastal Cleanup Day?
I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of great people come together for a common goal. I think it’s inspiring. Also, it wouldn’t be a boater event if it wasn’t followed by a dock party!
Why do you think events like Coastal Cleanup Day are important to keeping San Diego healthy and clean?
Well, not only are tons of trash and debris collected and removed from our greatest natural areas, but the people involved become more and more aware of the harmful effects of litter and pollution and band together to make a difference. Volunteers tend to get their own families and friends involved which is why this event seems to grow every year!
What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve found out on the water?
I can’t speak for CCD, but we’ll pull trash out of the water when we’re sailing in the ocean and we’ve found half a dozen birthday helium balloons over the years.
Have you registered to volunteer at Coastal Cleanup Day yet?
Click here and sign up for any of the over 85 cleanup sites across
San Diego County!