Seal Beach In California Littered With Staggering Amounts Of Trash Following Winter Storms

Source: The Guardian/Katherine Gammon

Photo: Brandi Ibrao/Unsplash

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Beachgoers hoping to stretch their legs on southern California’s famous Seal Beach were surprised to find a mountain of trash instead of sand and surf this week.

After a trio of winter storms dropped inches of rain on the area, the beach looked more like a landfill than a pristine paradise. Shopping carts, traffic cones and Styrofoam were among the piles of debris that littered the stretch of beach.

That’s because Seal Beach lies at the mouth of the San Gabriel river, which drains runoff from more than 50 cities in the Los Angeles river basin, said Eben Schwartz, the outreach manager at the California Coastal Commission, a state agency with regulatory oversight over land use and public access in the California coastal zone. “This is one of the most highly urbanized areas in the United States, and Seal Beach is basically the recipient of the outflow of all of those communities.”

Schwartz says that during coastal cleanup days, the coastal commission finds that about 80% of the trash that enters the ocean in California actually starts on land.

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Photo: Brandi Ibrao/Unsplash

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