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Local Waters and Beaches Get a Cleaning  

September 30, 2010 --Hundreds of volunteers were at the beach at the Santa Monica Pier and thousands more were at watersheds throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday morning to collect trash as part of Heal the Bay’s 21st annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

More than 103,000 pounds of debris were collected in an area covering 101 miles. Among the unusual items found were three bowling balls cut in half, a vibrator, goatskin hide and a mummified cat, a submerged gas-burning stove, several crack pipes and a floating bag of marshmallows.

“Coastal Cleanup Day 2010 was a record-breaking day of action that made an immediate impact on our oceans,” said Eveline Bravo, Heal the Bay’s beach programs manager. “But its lasting impact is teaching people what they can do in their daily lives throughout the year to combat neighborhood blight and beach pollution.”

Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) spoke to the volunteers at Santa Monica Pier and called for Cities and Counties in California to ban single-use plastic bags. Brownley had written AB 1998, the bill to ban the bags statewide that was sponsored by Heal the Bay, but it failed to gain enough support in the State Senate for approval. See: Plastic Bag Ban Defeated in Senate, September 1, 2010.

"AB 1998 resulted from a year of negotiations that won support from a historic coalition of environmentalists, grocers, retailers and unions," Brownley said. "Now that communities across the state are preparing to pass their own ordinances, I urge them to model them after AB 1998 and establish a uniform policy in stores statewide."

The Santa Monica City Council is expected to vote on a single-use plastic bag ban next month. The council was scheduled to vote on a ban last year, but waited for a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) to be completed after a coalition of plastic bag manufactures and related businesses threatened to file a lawsuit. The group successfully blocked a plastic bag ban in Manhattan Beach, and the State Supreme Court recently agreed to hear that case.

The DEIR for Santa Monica’s proposal was completed in June. The document can be viewed on the Office of Sustainability and Environment’s section of the City’s web site at www.smgov.net.

 


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