South Bay Chapter

Plastic Pollution

Our Programs to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Beach Cleanups

Beach clean ups can reduce litter, protect our ocean and raise awareness about litter and plastic pollution.

Our National Beach Cleanup Program provides a fun and easy way to volunteer and engage with our mission to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches. Volunteers of all ages, community groups, tourists, clubs, local and corporate businesses and elected officials around the country contribute to the success of this program and are essential to keep our beaches and coastline clean.

Participating helps to:

  • Protect our coastlines, waves, and beaches
  • Policy changes that lead to coastal victories
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle and consumer choices
  • Raise awareness about the pollution impacting our beaches

Interested in a Corporate Sponsored Beach Cleanup? Learn more here.

Teach and Test – Waste Characterization Study

The Waste Characterization Study is considered part of our Teach and Test Program, but is also related to Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics Program.

The study enlists high school students from a couple of local schools to do trash collections and trash processing. Volunteers and a Marine Biologist help conduct this beach trash study. Trash is collected where it is deposited in front of various storm drain outlets between Palos Verdes and the Ballona Wetlands.

A first flush trash collection is performed after the first significant rain for the new rain season which usually occurs in the months of October or November. This beach trash pickup is usually done by L.A. County workers and delivered to us at the SEA Lab.

Other trash is collected twice a month by students at the same time that they take ocean water samples at the same beach. The collected trash is processed and then sorted into classes, counted, weighed and the resulting data is put into a database for use in our chapter’s efforts to reduce plastic trash on the beach and in the ocean.

Data tables are created and Pie Charts are plotted for the current year and for all years back to the fall of 2010. This data is shown to the public at our events throughout the year and to city leaders to address the problem of trash on the beach and in the ocean.

The goals the South Bay Chapter’s Waste Characterization Study are:

  • Involve students in real science projects that address local
    environmental issues with a hands-on approach.
  • Get students interested in thinking about and doing something about the problem that they have discovered through this process.
  • Generate useful data that can be used to create student, resident and government official awareness of the plastics trash problem.
  • Get cities to enact environmental regulations to reduce the amount
    plastic trash on the beach and in the ocean.