Trash is a constant problem on Isla Vista’s beaches. Whether being thrown from balconies or simply left behind after a beach party, it is difficult to visit the narrow strip of sand without encountering something that once occupied a corner of someone’s living room. High tides that bring the waters of the Pacific in contact with the base of the cliffs in many places mean that most things left on the beach will be carried out to sea at some point.
Surfrider Foundation is an organization which, along with other issues, is acutely in tune with the topic of beach pollution. In order to help alleviate the problem, the Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider enlisted the help of some volunteers from Citrix Online on Friday, August 24 to perform a cleanup on the beach near the El Embarcadero beach access staircase.
Citrix is a Santa Barbara-based software company providing applications for remote desktop access and web conferencing. To promote environmental stewardship amongst the company’s employees, management offered a free day off to volunteers who participated in events such as this one. The ten or so volunteers who took part in the cleanup were able to enjoy a sunny Friday afternoon off after a few hours of strenuous manual labor.
Focusing mainly on the areas behind the seawalls, volunteers found many of the commonly-seen items - including furniture remnants, scores of alcohol bottles, and even a couple of laptops and a full bottle of A1 steak sauce. Looks on people’s faces ranged from amusement at the diversity of trash found, to outright disgust that these things could be left on such a beautiful stretch of coastal property.
At the end of a couple of hours of dragging rusty chairs, barbeque grills, and bags of cans and bottles down the beach and up the stairs, the crew ended up with a grand total of about 30 bags full of trash, plus a number of larger items that didn’t even fit on the sea-weed covered construction palate, which was found being lapped by the waves of an incoming tide. A little later, an unenthused-looking worker for the Isla Vista Parks and Recreation Department came to take away the pile, which had an estimated weight of 350 pounds.
“Santa Barbara Surfrider is fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with Citrix Online,” said Ken Palley, a member of Surfrider’s executive committee. “This is an example of how enlightened businesses can help to raise consciousness of our environment and our community.” Palley also expressed gratitude to Citrix for providing sponsorship for Surfrider’s upcoming Paddle Out for Clean Water, which will be held at noon on Saturday, September 29, east of Stearn’s Wharf.