Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.

Coastal Cleanup Day on the Morro Bay Sandspit

Coastal Cleanup Day on the Morro Bay Sandspit

The whole crew celebrates their work and Coastal Cleanup Day.

 

A wonderful group of volunteers came together to clean up the Morro Bay sandspit for International Coastal Cleanup Day. We gathered early on the Embarcadero to hear about the snowy plovers that depend on the sandspit dunes habitat to safely nest and hatch their chicks. We learned to stay outside of the yellow fencing on the sandspit in order to protect them.

Woody, a snowy plover monitor from California State Parks shows pictures of the snowy plovers that live on the sandspit.

Woody, a snowy plover monitor with California State Parks, shows pictures of the snowy plovers that live on the sandspit.

 

Then, we hitched a ride with Thomas, Captain of the Lost Isle Tiki Boat, through the fog and out to the sandspit. (Thank you, Thomas!)

Captain Thomas pulls away from the sandspit.

Captain Thomas stands on the Lost Isle Tiki Boat.

Volunteers Katie and Kathryn enjoy the misty ride.

Volunteers enjoy the misty ride.

We put on gloves, grabbed our recycling and trash bags, pocketed our pencils, and held tight to the tally sheets where we would note the numbers and types of items we would find. Then, we split up to pick up all of the litter we could find on the north and central areas of the sandspit.

Volunteers expertly patrol the dunes, bags, bucket, and data sheet in hand.

Volunteers expertly patrol the dunes with bags, bucket, and data sheet in hand.

 Morro Rock eventually broke free of the fog.

Morro Rock peeks out from behind a dune.

Morro Rock peeks out from behind a dune.

Volunteers found some unusual items including the fencing materials, tiny green car, and plastic octopus pictured below.

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Perhaps the most unusual item we found was this US Coastguard cap.

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Morro Rock broke free of the fog a little while before we gathered back at the beach to weigh our finds.

Morro Rock peeks out from behind a dune.

Morro Rock peeks out from behind a dune.

Altogether, we gathered 60 pounds of trash and 8 pounds of recycling. Pretty good for a morning’s work!

The whole crew celebrates their work and Coastal Cleanup Day.

The whole crew celebrates their work and Coastal Cleanup Day.

We turned our data in to San Luis Obispo County’s Coastal Cleanup Day organizers at ECOSLO, who tallied all of the data sheets for more than 30 sites up and down the coast. County-wide, 1,200 volunteers helped pick up 5,445 pounds of trash and 1,067 pounds of recycling. This data will be compiled with data from other coastal counties up and down the state and from cleanup sites around the world.

Once all of the data is in, it will available on the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup Day website. You can find the 2015 report there now. It’s used by researchers, policy makers, educators and organizations concerned with the health of our waters to help figure out how to keep our beaches and waterways clean.

We are so thankful for all of our volunteers locally and across the globe who came together for this huge one-day effort.


 

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