LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s first significant storm of the season filled storm drains with trash and debris that drained to the coast, and efforts to clean littered beaches have been hampered by stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, according to a newspaper report.
In typical years, nonprofits organize volunteers by the hundreds to regularly scoop garbage that lands along the coastline before it threatens wildlife or washes out to sea.
But with an ongoing restriction on gatherings, many organizations haven’t held their usual beach cleanups, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Thursday. Instead they are encouraging people to do “solo cleanups” on their own or with their immediate family.
“It won’t duplicate what we can do as a group, but every little bit helps,” Steve Masoner, founder of Save Our Beach, told the newspaper. Until the pandemic, the nonprofit hosted monthly cleanups that sometimes drew 1,000 people.
Masoner canceled December’s event and is unsure when the next one might be.
“We’re not optimistic at this point,” he said of January’s schedule.
After heavy rain hit Southern California this week, the nonprofit Heal the Bay sent out a small team to collect buckets of trash from Malibu to Redondo Beach, the Daily News reported.