SANTA BARBARA, Calif .– Masks have become a major part of our nation’s waste problem throughout the pandemic.
On Saturday, volunteers from across Santa Barbara County came together to resolve this issue.
The teams met in person for the first time in two years for the state’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day.
The mission was organized by Explore Ecology, a nonprofit environmental education organization that conducted 28 cleanups stretching from Guadalupe to Carpinteria.
Here in Santa Barbara’s East Beach, volunteers picked up a lot of trash, from cigarette butts and bottle caps to plastic utensils.
“Today we are focusing on micro-waste and preventing micro-waste from entering the canal waterways,” said volunteer Laura Sanchez.
“More and more pollution builds up and then you are going to eat that pollution, so it not only affects the ecosystem, but also affects you,” said volunteer Hannah Karlsrud.
In 2019, volunteers from across California collected over 900,000 pounds of trash on Coastal Cleanup Day.
This year’s cleanup day also kicks off the 22nd Annual County Creek Week.
Creek Week is a celebration of local coves, watersheds, and the ocean, with many local organizations hosting events to help raise awareness and manage the natural treasures of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and across the county.
This year, Creek Week runs from September 18 to 25.
For the full schedule of events this Creek Week, click here.
Community / Lifestyle / Outdoors / Santa Barbara – South County / Santa Maria – Lompoc – North County