The beaches closed in San Diego on March 22, 2020. It was a dramatic closure, in the middle of the day on a Saturday, the Police went up and down the beaches and via megaphones gathered all the Spring Breakers, families and residents from the beach and the parking lots and told them to get off the beach. It was now closed. California went on lockdown on March 19 and nobody listened to warnings about social distancing It was pretty bad, not as bad as it could have been as the weather was a little cool.
Our ‘season’ starts in March with spring break and continues through end of September. From that time on it is the daily towel salvage. You can see the numbers from March of 2018 to March of 2019.
I can’t really compare same time last year as the last third of March as converted to trash walking, streets and alleys, during the day with a friend so the number really increased to 9532 pieces of trash. Lots of food wrappers and cigarette butts and some textiles.
Since the lockdown (March 20)? there has been a huge difference in types of beach trash. In 2018 and 2019 I spent the mornings picking up towels and toys, clothes, boogie boards, shoes, plastic bottles. In fact my ‘job’ was to rescue and recycle ‘larges’ as much as possible. Little scraps of food wrappers, clear film, bottle caps, styrofoam escaped, as had no room for the finer pieces of plastic.
This year with the beach shut down I was able to sneak out a couple of times and pick up a couple of buckets of plastic.? One would think that there would less trash yet in reality there is more, if you go piece by piece. All the ‘smalls’ are washing up. I have a time frame, being off the beach by dawn 5:30 am. I don’t feel the same amount of pressure to get the whole beach done before the tourists come out (5:00 am)
Important to remember we have no tourists and people on the beach. One could do study of the effect of Tourists and Beach Litter. How much do tourists leave behind on the beach? In addition how much trash is on the streets is due to residents, construction workers vs tourists?
I don’t have much for April 2019 of last year, because I was in China of all places and weather also has an effect. Only have a few days of April. Starting tomorrow will be able to get back into the morning beach clean as they have a limited open beach.
Tomorrow brings another chapter on the COVID-19 story. Hope everyone is safe and well.