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October 25, 2012

Record Number of Volunteers Participate in 3rd Annual Tijuana River Action Month

More than 30 Tons of Trash Removed By Volunteers on Both Sides of U.S./Mexico Border
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Picture by Dan Murphy

RECORD NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS PARTICIPATE IN 3RD ANNUAL TIJUANA RIVER ACTION MONTH

More than 30 Tons of Trash Removed By Volunteers on Both Sides of U.S./Mexico Border

Successful conclusion of the 3rd Annual Tijuana River Action Month, a series of education and stewardship events during September and October to benefit the Tijuana River Watershed. In total, 2,908 volunteers removed 62,646 lbs. of ocean-bound plastics, Styrofoam, and trash, as well as 687 tires on both sides of the border of the Tijuana River Watershed.  

“The goal of the action month, organized by the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Surfrider San Diego, I Love a Clean San Diego and WiLDCOAST, was to mobilize a record number of community volunteers and groups to become stewards of the Tijuana River Watershed. We are very proud of the public and private agencies, businesses, non-profits and community groups that invested –resources and energy-- to protect and restore the Tijuana River,” said Serge Dedina, Executive Director of WiLDCOAST.

Salvemos la Playa coalition cleanup events contributed significantly to this grand total, with 2,142 of these volunteers removing 39,245 pounds of debris as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day.  With 25 hours of events during Tijuana River Action Month, volunteers donated 8,240 volunteer hours which if paid for labor would equate to $164,800.

“It was really incredible to see how many people came out to these cleanups,” said Paloma Aguirre, WiLDCOAST Border Coordinator. “We had surfers, ranchers, and families from south county, but we also had hundreds of students from La Jolla High School, Cal-State San Marcos, UCSD, Point Loma Nazarene University and elsewhere. Every single one of them was here to keep this trash out of the Tijuana River Valley and out of the ocean.”  

The timing of Tijuana River Action Month coincides with the small window of opportunity for large events between the end of bird nesting season and the beginning of the rain season. Other events included a bilingual nature walk and the installation of 100 native plants at the Tijuana Estuary.

The organizations, agencies and corporations that supported this record breaking effort included WiLDCOAST, Tijuana River Estuary Research Reserve San Diego I Love a Clean San Diego,  Surfrider San Diego,  Audubon Society,  Urban Corps, New Ocean Blue, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educacion Ambiental, Tijuana Calidad de Vida (in Tijuana),  REI, SDGE, Think Blue City of San Diego Storm-water and Transportation Department, County of San Diego, San Diego County Park Rangers, CA State Parks, Ocean Minded, EDCO & Allied Waste Services.

For pictures of the cleanup please visit our Flickr albums or follow the below links:

Cleanup up at Effie May Trail - October 6, 2012. 

Cleanup at Border Fiel State Park - October 13, 2012

Cleanup at Dairy Mart Road - October 20, 2012.