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September 21, 2019

Coastal Cleanup Day - South Shores of Mission Bay

Coastal Cleanup Day is a state wide event, the world’s largest single cleanup day event.  There are over 100 sites in San Diego where volunteers are needed and will be sponsored.

I volunteer with ‘I Love a Clean San Diego’, especially when they have a site on the list that we use. This year I chose South Shores.  We’ve often biked along Mission Bay through South Shores, we’ve used the restrooms and I’ve used the RV dump station.

I arrived a little early to check out the RC aircraft.  I've seen them often but have never really checked them out.

Who knew???  it’s a private club field, and my idea of doing a cleanup, in the private fly-zone, was not really how I wanted to spend my time.


Back at Cleanup base station, check-in was quick and easy

After the 'Thank You' and 'Safety' talk we were told to always work in pairs  … bugs, snakes, gopher holes,  yadda-yadda. 

I took off alone with a quick stop at the RV dump station.

<no picture, we’ve all seen the detritus at a dump station>
it's not pretty, but better in the trashcans than the bay.

With that done, and a fresh pair of rubber gloves, I notice that most of the 50+ volunteers are either in the parking lot or on the trails by the water.  It's a warm morning and bayside is tempting, but that's not where the real trash is.

Little did these gals and kids know as they walked the parking lot, that just beyond the bushes is a trove of trash.
It was there I filled my bucket and a couple trash bags.  But the prize was an anchor buoy!  I thought it was a beach ball when I first saw it.  Nope!, at least I could roll it back.

While there I saw another abandoned camp nearby.  At that camp there was a mattress, a bunch of take out food containers and a latrine.  The trash filled my last plastic bag, the contents of the latrine filled my 5 gallon bucket and the mattress I had to drag out to the street.

There’s no way I want to carry all that back to the collection area, so I retrieved my truck.  I parked the truck facing oncoming traffic, at an unauthorized gate, near that private RC flight zone - yup! the one that did not want my help … And where’s a cop when you don’t want one?  Right in front of my truck - with his lights flashing! 

“Do you need assistance?” That’s better than asking for my credentials!  After I explained, he pulled on his gloves and helps me load the mattress and trash bag, but I’ve had my Hep shot and load the latrine contents myself.  Nice cop!, I did not get his name, nor did he ask mine.  but thanks for the help!

The efforts of the day were awarded various prizes – biggest group, best bucket decorations, etc.  But I won 3: biggest find – the mattress; most unusual – the buoy; and … drum roll … most disgusting – the latrine contents!  

Better in their plastic bag than my bay!

I’m quick to get back home for a well deserved shower, than Fran and I get on our bikes for a ride to PIFA! 

What’s PIFA? – that’ll be in the next blog….


  1. Sounds like a productive day you had and the help from the friendly cop was a bonus.

    1. Very productive day. Overall several tons of trash were removed the coast.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, and it was indeed a lot nicer once we finished up.


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