On Saturday, September 18th, a well-spirited group of Watchpoint Logistics, Inc. employees and guests headed out on a crisp cloudy morning to Rockaway Beach (Pacifica, CA) for the Annual Pacific Beach Clean Up Day. While we worked, we were surrounded by breathtaking views and a wide array of birds and red-tailed hawks signature to the area.
Our group of twelve joined another 736 volunteers to cover more than 60 miles of beach. We’ve been participating in this effort for at least eight years now and we always find interesting bits of trash such as toy trucks, plastic flowers, lost shoes, an assortment of beach toys and a collection of beer cans. This day was no different, but the group’s discoveries also included a large pair of speakers, a set of wheelchair wheels and a propane tank! You just never know what you’re going to find. Here are the official numbers for our collective efforts on that single day:
· 2,772 single use plastic items
· 2,552 small plastic pieces
· 1,157 beverage containers (479 plastic bottles)
· 337 masks & gloves
· 156 strapping bands
· 31 balloons
· 21 E-cigarettes
· 1 set of huge speakers
· 2 cell phones
· 1 pillow
· wheelchair wheels
· propane tank
This is an especially important time to clean beaches, as it prevents the winter rains from carrying more trash into the ocean. What happens when the trash goes into the ocean? The EPA has thoroughly researched this and put together a compelling list of reasons why we should care. And it’s not just aquatic life that’s at risk; according to the Ocean Conservancy, “It is estimated that by 2050…95% of all individual seabirds will fall victim to the harmful effects of consuming plastic.”
California is showing some heroic efforts to clean up its beaches. According to the California Coastal Commission, “in 2019, more than 74,000 volunteers picked up over 900,000 pounds of trash from beaches and waterways.” All over the world, volunteers like us are coming together to collect astounding amounts of beach trash. Ocean Conservancy has tabulated these global results so far for 2020. And, of course, all inland clean-up efforts are a big help since they prevent trash from flowing downstream to the coast.
We’ll be back to help with this again next September but, in the meantime, we’re looking forward to our next team volunteer day. As Kelly Walsh, our Director of Compliance and International Operations says: “We feel that giving back our time to the community is very rewarding. Our hope is that the team also feels this joy, which will then inspire them to seek out volunteer opportunities close to their hearts.” Watchpoint Logistics participates in activities like these because we’re a part of this community and we want to take part in it as well. Integrating and being inclusive with residents, schools and other business teams in our area creates a meaningful connection on a personal level.
We feel a strong responsibility to be in service to others; it also feels rewarding when we share our resources to make the world a better place, one in which we can all thrive. And, as everyone has something to teach us, we learn and expand our individual perspective as we come to understand a different one. Communities that work together grow together.