September 19, 2021
It’s 558am, and it’s the day after the 2021 Coastal Clean Up Day. It’s a symbolic day where the community is invited to come together to pick up trash and plastic pollution to help the oceans. I organized a work group to clean up on the bayside of the southern part of San Diego Bay at the Chula Vista Boating Launch Ramp. It was a long process that included sending emails to our department, posting on our MD Facebook group. I figured out how to use sign-up genius, and posted during our differerent work presentation reminders. I considered different areas to clean and texted RN Plastic Picker about advice about where to clean. I drove to two different areas to scope out which areas would be the most approrpriate and settled upon an area in the South County where I grew up, that had plenty of plastic pollution at a scenic walkway. I exchanged emails and text messages with various people. Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to the grocery store Friday night late, after a long day of work to get supplies and snacks for the event. My father-in-law happily agreed to come with me to help set up, mostly to put up our tent that we needed. RN Plastic Picker convinced her tween daughter to come, and another nursing manager came. We arrived at 740am right on time, and quickly set up in about 20 minutes. We didn’t leave until about 1130am, so a good four hours of our time. About 15 people of various ages came with their family and I’ve detailed the beauty of the day on different facebook pages and there are plenty of wonderful pictures of the day. This is one I’ll always remember, because I feel like I found this tree and I got to help clean around her roots and tell a child that I love that I found it for her and she should sit on it.
The actual amount of trash that we gathered was respectable. Here is what it looked like, and given the wind conditions – I know that it would have all gone into the ocean.
Was it worth it? Was it worth all that time? I’m sitting here and it’s 608am now and it’s still dark and I can’t go out by myself to the beach to clean just yet. It’s too dark. But the memories of yesterday and everything that led up to yesterday are washing over me, and every moment was worth it. Every part of the efforts that led to yesterday were worth it. There were so many moments throughout the entire process that I will never forget. I’m closing my eyes again and letting it wash over me. I get kind of choked up when I think about it.