Surfrider group gets back to work

Volunteers on kayaks collect 130 lbs. of trash from harbor

Volunteers on kayaks set out to clean up the Huntington Harbor area adjacent to Sunset Beach. Photo by Tony Soriano

The Huntington/Seal Beach Surfrider Foundation held a harbor clean-up event on July 12, as local environmental groups begin to get back to work as the county opens back up after COVID-19 shutdowns.

The local Surfrider group also host beach cleanups that draw hundreds of volunteers, but with the use of loaner kayaks, harbor cleanups are generally much smaller in numbers, the foundation’s, Chair of Help Your Harbor Cleanups, Shane Coons said. Still, volunteers were excited to get back to helping the environment, Coons said.

“Given that so much these days feels out of our control, there was a feeling of heightened appreciation among the volunteers to be able to do something concrete to make a positive contribution for the planet,” Coons said.

Since the harbor cleanups are limited in volunteers and offer easy social distancing, Coons said it seemed like a natural fit for getting the group back into work. He said they had 15 volunteers, but still managed to collect more than 130 pounds of trash in just a couple of hours.

“We had to cancel prior months of the harbor cleanup due to COVID-19, but were able to resume this month with reduced numbers, masks, and being very conscious of adequate distancing and washing hands,” Coons said.

The H/SB Surfrider Foundation board has been holding virtual meetings over the past months to plan for when communities began opening up. They will continue to monitor guidelines and are hopeful for more events in the near future.

“If local guidelines and circumstances continue to allow, we will host our monthly cleanups going forward with the same precautions,” Coons said.

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Surfrider group gets back to work