Community members donate hours of their weekend to embark on the rescue of the sea

Thousands of volunteers and defenders of the environment, the oceans and maritime life were deployed this Saturday along the west coast to clean up the beaches for the thirtieth consecutive year, removing hundreds of pounds of garbage that human beings throw and They end up in the sea.

On the day of cleaning, about 40 divers from Scuba LA extracted dozens of rubbish from the bottom of the sea, including scissors, razors, sunglasses, fisherman's nets, plastic bags, food wrappers scrap and at least three electric skates.

At the end of the task, the 13,800 volunteers collected 29,600 pounds of trash.

"You have to start with yourself to change things," said diver Charlotte Mausoll, having taken a heavy skateboard out of the sea, along with Ian Wells. "We have done this because what we love, we protect."

Cleaning efforts were also made at Redondo Beach, Marina del Rey, Malibu and Carrillo State Beach, among other points, along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Three decades of labor

"Thirty years after we started these efforts, the problem continues," Shelley Luce, executive director of Heal The Bay, told La Opinión. "One of the reasons is that the waste of plastic bags has grown."

With sadness on the face, Shelley and her daughter Thalia Brooks, 12 years old, witnessed a plastic bottle containing the heads of several fish and was thrown into the sea by some unconscious person.

Several fish heads were found inside a plastic bottle floating on the Angelian coast.

Volunteer mobilization at more than 70 beach sites throughout Los Angeles County occurred just two days after California lawmakers decided not to discuss bills AB 54 – beverage container recycling – and AB 1080 —That seeks to reduce polluting packaging. It is presumed that it was due to pressure from large recycling companies and garbage collectors.

"It was disappointing that they didn't vote, but we'll bring the matter up again next year," Luce said.

In fact, Heal The Bay, together with the Clean Seas coalition, were the biggest drivers of waste reduction policies.

At least three electric skateboards were taken from the ocean.

Young people seek change

The volunteers, Daniel Rosales, Francisco Corral, Karina Panduro, Agustín Cedillo and Jasmín Navarro – members of the Faith and Ecology Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – said that in the encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis called on humanity to protect the "common house" of all, which is the planet Earth, through recreational activities in favor of the environment, forests, rivers and seas.

“One of the things we must do is also reforest,” said Francisco Corral. "I carry that in my blood because I was born in Durango (Mexico) and lived near a forest."

For his part, Jasmin added: “I used to drink a lot of water from plastic bottles; Now I do it in a recyclable container. ”

About 40 divers participated in the cleaning of the beach in Santa Monica.
Andy Santizo shows the trash he found under the place's pier.

In the sand, on the side of the beach and below the dock dozens of groups of volunteers loaded in hand a bucket or plastic bags to collect any type of garbage, as did the group of the sisters Monica and Maricela Verdugo, in addition by Laura Burnett and Maribel Esquivel.

“We must protect the entire planet, for the sake of our children,” said Maricela Verdugo, a laboratory technician in Los Angeles, while Laura Burnett pointed out that a simple activity that should be put into practice by each person is “pick up the trash, even if it's not yours. ”

In California, other law initiatives that would mitigate pollution include AB 792, from Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which includes the requirement that plastic bottles be made of 50% recycled materials by 2030 or AB 1162 of Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San José) that would ban shampoos, conditioners and lotions in small plastics that are distributed in hotels.

Among the waste were even scissors and razors.
In total almost 30,000 pounds of garbage were collected.

“I would impose fines of $ 1,000 on each person who caught littering on the beaches or leaving them forgotten,” said Oscar Palomino, a resident of the city of Ontario, who took his son Jonathan to enjoy the waves of the sea .

“People are lazy; he gets to a point where he doesn't mind doing anything until it affects him, ”said Torino Jackson, a Cal State LA student.

"We need to educate ourselves and stop thinking only of ourselves."


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