By John Lindsey
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Dozens of PG&E employees and their families and friends helped improve California’s coast recently.
They took part in California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, Sept. 15. The PG&E volunteers picked up more than 76 pounds of garbage and 15 pounds of recyclable materials from a stretch of coast that extended from the Port San Luis Pier to the Cal Poly Pier along San Luis Bay Drive.
PG&E had six other locations on the Central Coast – from Pacific Grove inland to Salinas, and Paso Robles to Nipomo – where 34 PG&E volunteers scoured the coast and creeks. Employees further north, including in the Bay Area, also turned out for the cleanup.
California Coastal Cleanup Day was first organized in 1985 by the California Coastal Commission and has since grown by leaps and bounds. The effort is designed to keep local beaches clean and safe while protecting California’s marine life.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to volunteer with my granddaughter to help clean the beaches along the Central Coast which we use throughout the year,” said Debra Magana, instrument and calibration maintenance coordinator at PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant located in San Luis Obispo County.
This year, 1,006 San Luis Obispo County volunteers took part in the 28th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, organized by the Ocean Conservancy. Together they picked up 2,500 pounds of debris and 207 pounds of recyclables.
The success of this program is due to people like PG&E’s Tom Esser, environmental coordinator at Diablo Canyon, who helped organize this event, and all the others who volunteer.
Altogether, 57,444 volunteers fished for garbage on more than 850 ocean, lake, river and creek shores of California. They picked up 320 tons pounds of debris, including 105,816 pounds of recyclable materials, according to a Coastal Commission news release.
Some of the more unusual items found this year included a 1962 Dodge convertible at the Alameda Reservoir; a concrete statue of a rabbit found in Shasta County; and an old love letter found at Kehoe Beach in Marin County.
The cleanup has been responsible for removing more than 15 million pounds of trash from California’s beaches since it started in 1985.
Data collection about the type and the amount of trash and recyclables goes into the Ocean Conservancy’s international database, which is used to identify the sources of debris and to help devise solutions to the marine debris problem.
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