SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Volunteers with the San Diego chapter of The Surfrider Foundation will help clean up the Tijuana River Valley Saturday and raise awareness about problems caused by cigarette butts.
Around 150 volunteers plan to gather around 9 a.m. at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park to walk the horse trails and remove plastic bottles, trash and tires to prevent them from being washed to the beach by rains later this year.
"The Tijuana River Valley is nature's filter that traps the trash before it reaches the estuary and eventually the ocean," said Surfrider's Dan Murphy. "Most of the trash and plastics are hidden in the trees and horse trails of the river valley, sometimes reaching heights of 5 feet."
The northwest-flowing river also deposits raw sewage from Mexico into the ocean.
The Oceanforce Foundation, Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association, WiLDCOAST, Suzie's Farm, Wild Willow Farm, and Longboard Cowboys are other groups that will take part.
The foundation urges attendees to wear working clothes such as long pants and closed-toed shoes, and to bring drinking water and sunscreen. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The two cigarette events, called "Hold Onto Your Butt Awareness Day," will take place at 10 a.m. at Mission Beach and at the Oceanside Pier.
According to the foundation, cigarette butts make up nearly a third of the trash collected during beach cleanups. Cigarette butts discarded miles inland can end up in storm drains that eventually empty into the ocean, according to the foundation.