Orange County Activists Fight Plastic Pollution and Urge Residents to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse

By Jacqueline Winberg

Newport Beach, Calif. (June 22, 2015) - Local Orange County group Coastal Angels is taking action across Orange and Los Angeles Counties. In an effort to prevent an ecological catastrophe, Coastal Angels has vowed to protect CA's beaches and marine life, voluntarily, from plastics and other pollutants. Volunteers from Southern CA attend monthly beach clean-ups at Newport Beach and Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches, all-the-while engaging in group-thinks about how to tackle issues like waste prevention, plastic pollution, and increasing awareness about the dangers it causes for humans and marine life. In a recent post on Twitter, Pope Francis tweeted, "The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth."

                Coastal Angels recognizes that it takes an awakening inside someone to see that human activity and nature stand in correlation. Heal the Bay, non-profit exposing coastal degradation, found that Huntington State Beach, Seal Beach, and Doheny Beach are among the lowest scoring during winter weather. The public can read more about CA's 2014-2015 beach water quality in their Annual Beach Report Card.

                Creator of Coastal Angels, Jacque Francisco explains the urgent need for awareness and action, "Orange County is where I was born, raised, and created most of my memories. I became deeply disturbed when I stopped looking at the beach as a scenery and started looking down at my feet and saw that the sand was riddled with all kinds of garbage. This has got to stop now and I will assist with it."

                Orange County is known for being a community with a bustling economy which heavily relies on tourism. It has world class restaurants, pristine beaches, and an array of landscape views from sunrise to sunset that inspire artists. It's time that the community takes a step back, grabs their magnifying glasses, and examines the details which currently plague our coasts. Coastal Angels doesn't want our children suffering from gastrointestinal illnesses, which are caused by drain runoff. Coastal Angels doesn't want to see trash scattered around beaches and floating in the ocean. Coastal Angels doesn't want our children coming home with tar stuck to their bodies. Coastal Angels doesn't want any more oil spill "accidents". Coastal Angels wants citizens and marine life to actually be in a safe and clean environment. 

                This requires a small and insignificant adjustment in people's lives, reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse. Stop using plastic bags and choose reusable ones, pick up our own and others trash, and start engaging in discussions about issues like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (one of seven gyres which consist of gargantuan amounts of plastic). Let's take our friends to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and learn more about sustainable seafood, technology advances in repopulating endangered species like the Steelhead Trout, and how plastic bags resemble jelly fish, that of which dolphins eat. 

                Coastal Angels is a growing network of volunteers who dedicate a minimum of three hours a month picking up trash on our plastic plagued beaches. We also volunteer at Wildlife Centers by cleaning crates and other day to day duties that make animals and marine life safe. Our recent experience at the CA Wildlife Center in Calabasas involved meeting the sea lion pup, Stark. She was found starving and alone on a Malibu beach and brought in to get treatment and proper nutrition.

                We urge the community to join us or several other organizations in Beach Clean-Ups throughout the year. One day a year is not enough. Help us preserve our beaches and keep them safe for others to create memories on. Let's finally be the difference we want to see in the world.

For more information about Coastal Angels, visit our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please email coastalangels@outlook.com to volunteer.