Volunteers set to scour waterways in 10th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup
by Djani Schafer
Published - 04/25/12 - 02:15 PM | 5196 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Volunteers bag up debris collected during a previous year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup at the Ocean Beach Pier. This year, a total of 88 coastal and inland sites will be targeted.       Courtesy photo
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With Earth Day just concluded and going green a continuing priority for San Diegans, the 10th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup comes at the perfect time. The countywide event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 28, when thousands of volunteers turn out en masse to scour a total of 88 inland and coastal sites.

Last year, more than 5,350 volunteers spanned out across 75 cleanup sites across San Diego County, removing 80 tons of debris. Not only did the volunteers clean up the communities, but they also prevented more trash and pollution from entering San Diego’s beloved beaches and bays.

“What many people don’t realize is that the trash and pollution that they often see on our beaches and in the waterways actually started flowing from inland areas,” said Jessica Green, coordinator for I Love A Clean San Diego.

Among the popular cleanup sites are La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay and the Ocean Beach area.

This year, there will be two cleanup sites along Rose Creek. The site at Mission Bay High School is recommended for families or volunteers with children younger than 15.

A second site, off Santa Fe Street, is recommended for adult volunteers who are able to walk through rough terrain. The area around this cleanup site is surrounded by poison oak, so it’s also recommended that after the cleanup, volunteers wash up in cold water to remove any traces of the plant.

Despite the age recommendations, neither cleanup site can be considered a walk in the park, said organizers.

“These aren’t no wimpy beach cleanups where you pick up a couple of cigarette butts and call it a day,” said Karin Zirk, a volunteer with Friends of Rose Creek. “Volunteers at Rose Creek cleanups have found couches, hot tubs, gas barbecues, car batteries, broken surfboards and, of course, shopping carts.”

It’s important that volunteers dress accordingly, said organizers. Boots, long sleeves, long pants and a good sunhat are recommended. In keeping with the green mentality, organizers also ask that volunteers bring reusable water bottles and reusable cleanup supplies like buckets, bags and work gloves. This helps reduce the amount of plastic that will be thrown away at the end of the day.

As a “thank you” to volunteers for all the hard work they’ll be putting in, Campland on the Bay will be donating ice cream for an ice cream social and raffle that will be held on both Rose Creek sites after the cleanup.

While some sites have more volunteers than organizers can handle and are no longer on the sign-up list, there are plenty more volunteers may take on.

For more information and to register for a cleanup site, visit www.creektobay.org.


The 10th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup covers a wide swath of San Diego County, including many coastal and inland sites. Participants may choose which one they would like to tackle, although organizers said the inland sites often draw fewer volunteers to help. Online registration at www.creektobay.org is encouraged to help cleanup organizers balance the load. For volunteers who want to stay closer to home, here are some of the coastal and beach cleanup sites being targeted this year.

• La Jolla Shores (site closed to new online registrations)

• Mission Bay — Bonita Cove kayak cleanup

• Mission Bay — Crown Point Shores South

• Mission Bay — Fiesta Island

• Mission Bay — Santa Clara Point

• Mission Bay — South Shores

• Mission Beach — Belmont Park

• Morena area — Upper Rose Creek

• Ocean Beach — Dog Beach

• Ocean Beach — Sunset Cliffs, three parking areas

• Ocean Beach Pier — Veteran’s Plaza

• Pacific Beach — Lower Rose Creek at Mission Bay High School

• Pacific Beach — Tourmaline
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