Volunteers from two cities came together to help their communities safely celebrate the Fourth of July.
At Pismo Beach, employees and volunteers got out bright and early to pick up all the trash left behind.
Pismo Beach leaders estimated 60,000-70,000 people were in the area for the Fourth of July holiday, and with a large crowd comes trash.
But Pismo was more than prepared to get their beach looking as good as new.
“We started bright and early this morning. We had about 20 city employees and volunteers that were out on the beach doing beach cleanup. It took about three hours, so about 60 total hours and that consisted of picking up everything from trash, wood debris, and all the other interesting things that we found on the pier,” said Pismo Beach Management Services Director Jorge Garcia.
The fireworks show off the pier was the highlight of the night and Garcia believes it helped curb the use of illegal fireworks in the city of Pismo Beach.
“We do find some. It is relatively small in comparison to other areas and that’s really because we have our own fireworks show,” said Garcia.
About 20 miles away, Santa Maria struggled with illegal fireworks, as police gave out more citations in this one week period than any other previous year.
“I’ve heard rumors this morning that a pretty good number were written, administrative citations were written last night. I think for the week it puts the toll somewhere near 30 citations, administrative citations,” said Santa Maria Police Lieutenant Russell Mengel.
To prepare for Independence Day, Santa Maria had more officers on the street, cracking down on people launching illegal fireworks.
They also rolled out new technology to help, allowing people to report any incidents with the touch of a button, but even that wasn’t enough.
“We don’t have the resources to shut it down, and the community realizes that, but that’s also the thing we need community cooperation and this has to be a choice of the community as a whole,” said Mengel.
Even with illegal fireworks continuing to be an issue, Santa Maria police are looking at the bright side as there were no serious injuries or fires reported.