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Unusual items among tons of trash collected on Central Coast beaches

Project Clean Water Facebook Page

The Central Coast numbers for this weekend's Coastal Clean-up Day are starting to come in and Santa Barbara County looks like it had an increase in the number of volunteers and trash collected.

Project Clean Water says more than a thousand people came together Saturday at sites county-wide, collecting roughly 4,800 pounds of trash and recyclables. 

The thousand or so volunteers that also hit San Luis Obispo County beaches cleaned up more than 3,600 pounds of trash and recyclables during what is the world's largest volunteer effort. But, on this stretch of Central Coast, the total numbers for volunteers and trash were down this year compared to last.

Site Captains believe volunteer participation could be chalked up to cold and foggy weather conditions. They also reported less trash on the beaches initially.

AdriaArko of EcoSlo says she has some theories why, like people cleaning up the beaches on regular visits and lack of rainfall that would normally bring inland debris to the coast.

"So I'm not sure if it's people picking it up, or it's just not quite getting there, but there was it seems like less trash this year."

Among that trash, volunteers came across unusual items like fake teeth, toy insects, and a nose-hair trimmer. 

In Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, Save Our Shores (SOS) was in charge of Coastal Clean-up activities. The organization says 3,884 volunteers at 83 sites collected 21,979 pounds of pollution and debris from entering Monterey Bay.

The top five dirtiest cleanup sites were:

  • Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve (4,800 lbs)
  • Felton Covered Bridge Park (2,700 lbs)
  • Upper Carr Lake (2,062 lbs)
  • Lompico Creek at Lompico Park (1,700 lbs)
  • San Lorenzo River at Fillmore Street in Ben Lomond (817 lbs) 

Jenna Broagan with SOS says some of the strange items found on Saturday along their stretch of Central Coast included a Christmas tree, a truck's camper shell, the bow of a shipwrecked boat, a giant plastic airplane, and a pink bra.