“Get Your Green On” article – Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept 17, 2011 – for Openline September 7, 2011

Last week 600 incoming freshmen and transfer students from California Lutheran University along with City staff and community leaders, cleaned up 11.3 tons of trash from the Ventura River bottom in about 90 minutes.  Although a massive and impressive effort and significant help, when we look around the City, there is still plenty more trash along the river bottom, city streets, parking lots and beaches. This material has the potential of ending up in our waterways and ocean.  In addition to being unsightly, it is dangerous to humans and the environment.  Anything on the ground can end up going down a stormdrain or be carried to the beach. Everything from pet waste, leaves, paper cups, food wrappers, broken glass, cigarette butts, the excess fertilizer from our lawn, oil from our cars as well as those errant plastic bags can end up where we swim and surf. Studies show that worldwide we are having an increasing negative impact on our oceans. If we pollute the oceans, there are far reaching consequences that we are just beginning to understand. The City is also under a very strict Stormwater Permit that has little tolerance for litter, so litter can have an impact on our budget as well as the environment.

You can help make our world a little cleaner and safer by participating in the 27th. annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 17 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  There are five locations from which to choose in Ventura.  Local organizations and businesses have stepped up to help sponsor each site as well as interdepartmental cooperation.

Site

Ventura Promenade (Meet at the California St. Plaza near the Crowne Plaza Hotel).  Site Partner – Surfrider Foundation

Seward Beach – Site Partner – Meridian’s Deli

San Buenaventura State Beach (San Pedro Street entrance) – Site Partner – Larry Walker & Associates

Ventura Harbor Beaches (Meet at Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center) – Site Partner – Channel Islands National Park Service

Marina Park – Site Partner – Volunteer Ventura! and Environmental Sustainability

For more information and a list of all the Ventura County cleanup sites sponsored by the Ventura County Coalition for Coastal and Inland Waterways, go to www.vccoastcleanup.org.

People of all ages are welcome for whatever time they can commit. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, close-toed shoes, sunscreen and a hat and bring their own refillable water bottle. Some years, we have created almost as much trash with the plastic cleanup bags and gloves than we picked up so we ask that volunteers also bring a bucket or something in which to put the trash along with work gloves if possible. There will also be a limited amount of cleanup supplies available at each site. Last year in Ventura County alone, over 3,000 volunteers removed over 13,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from coastal and inland sites. There is a great short video on the Ventura County Coastal Cleanup site listed above that has the tag line “we can do this.”  We can make a difference one piece of litter at a time.  Come join us September 17!

Contact: Christine Wied (cwied@ci.ventura.ca.us) and Rosie Ornelas (rornelas@ci.ventura.ca.us)

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