The First Flush is an annual event for Team Marine, each year the amount of plastic on the beach is shocking; today was no different. After the first heavy rainfall hit the Los Angeles area this morning and garbage from all over the city was shuttled to the ocean shore, the team ventured to the Pico storm drain to see the damage done and start cleaning up.
We went down prepared to pick up plastic, fully equipped with nets, trash bags, buckets and rubber gloves. We aimed to collect as much trash/debris as possible and to properly recycle it or throw it away, instead of letting it funnel into the ocean.
It’s clear that we face a huge challenge every year trying to clean up as much as possible. This time, we chose to focus on an area of about 90 square meters and get down and dirty cleaning up. We’re proud to say that after working for about 4 hours collecting everything in our chosen area, we accumulated roughly 300 pounds of garbage. This consisted of mixed leaf litter, single use plastic films, wrappers, containers, bags and packaging. The amount of styrofoam found was particularly bad this year. Though this may seem like a large amount of garbage, it really is nothing compared to what is still out there. With that said, a passionate group of people can still make a difference.
It is our duty as Team Marine, as the City of Los Angeles and as a country, to keep our coasts clean and ultimately, free of plastic debris. The First Flush is proof that there is a lot more work to be done, but with the plastic bag ban’s passage, new, innovative green laws coming into effect, and general eco-awareness, plastic pollution will be a thing of the past. Get out there and clean up your local beaches!