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Volunteers clean up Central Coast beaches after Fourth of July celebrations

Volunteers come together to clean up beaches after the 4th of July celebrations
Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 05, 2023

From fireworks in Pismo Beach, a dog parade in Avila Beach, and a sandcastle contest in Cayucos, the Central Coast held strong to that Fourth of July spirit.

But now it’s time to get to work.

“We're helping to clean up the area after the fourth, so after everyone's been enjoying the beaches and going home, we're helping to collect all the trash that's been left," said Allie Wright, who coordinates volunteers for ECO SLO.

Wednesdays are official beach days for Isabelle Garza, so she brought her family along to support ECO SLO’s Clean Up at Avila Beach.

“We wanted to get a good parking spot and pick up trash first and we came with my son: this is my son Felix, and I have an older son, and my daughter, and my mom who lives in San Luis still met us here,” said Garza.

Volunteers grabbed a Let’s Do This bucket, a trash picker, and gloves to remove as much garbage as possible.

“You know, I see a lot of trash, too much trash, especially plastic,” said Dean Arrighi, who was volunteering at Avila Beach.

ECO SLO also hosted a Clean Up in Cayucos.

“Turnouts went pretty good for a Wednesday morning, I would say, especially after a big holiday, so I think we have about ten people here and about 15 up in Cayucos,” said Wright.

The non-profit PathPoint which works with folks with special needs did their part too.

“We come out for one hour, three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday to do the cleanup, basically trying to keep the boardwalk here clean,” said Paula Allen, a job coach for PathPoint.

As time went by, bags got heavier and heavier.

“They say ‘if you bring it in, you take it out,’” said Allen. “But, you know, we're here to make sure that if they don't, we're a step behind them.”

Volunteers have a message for beachgoers.

“Just look around before you leave and take any trash that you can […] we appreciate it, the animals appreciate it,” said Garza.

“Sometimes, we'll have really big cleanups where we're pulling hundreds of pounds, but it's just as important to get the little stuff as getting the big stuff,” added Wright. “Just doing whatever you can and making sure to pick up trash, but also pack your own trash.”

If you are looking for opportunities to help out with future Clean Ups, click here.

The next big event ECO SLO is hosting is the Creeks to Coast Clean Up, which is taking place on Sept. 23, 2023.