DEL MAR, Calif. — When San Diegans litter, a lot of that trash inevitably ends up in the ocean. In Zevely Zone, I went to Del Mar to meet a student who is doing something about it.
In June, when a young man starting diving deep to keep two San Diego County river mouths clean, he was all alone down there not knowing his effort would land him back on land in front of a camera.
"You are on TV!" I said. Bryan Kaleta, a 20-year old Pepperdine student, smiled and said, "That's crazy that's nuts."
Bryan told me taking classes online during COVID was a bit boring until he discovered a new app on his phone. Rubbish is a free platform based out of the Bay area that creates innovative ways for people all over the world to pick up trash.
"Any average Joe from this height to this height," laughed Bryan. He loves to surf and dive and figured why not tackle the trash that threatens the ocean?
"Usually I do kind of along the border of the water here and then I'm not sure if you can see but all of the way up to where we are parked I don't know if you can see but where the cars are," said Bryan at the Del Mar's Dog Beach.
For seven weeks he protected more than 20-thousand square meters of coastline.
"Yeah usually by the rocks, yeah it's a gold mine right here," said Bryan. The biggest offenders? Plastics and tobacco. Bryan picked up a can and an old pack of cigarettes.
"Corona time baby and cigarettes, the vices of our society," said Bryan on his way to the trash can.
Rubbish beams combine low tech trash grabbers with high tech software and allow volunteers to categorize litter and quantify their Rubbish Runs. "It will say you've walked this distance and here is the spots with the litter you found and it kind of just creates a data chart so it's really cool in that way," said Bryan. He could talk all day about his report filled with pie charts.
"Plastic bag filled with dog poop and tobacco," said Bryan. But more than anything, this member of Gen Z wants to share the A,B, C's of protecting our planet. When he dives deep into the water and find trash in the ocean he has to vent, "Oh, it pisses me off of course, I'm mad you know. "I'm like wow I can't believe that all of our activity and just litter goes into the ecosystem."
Let's hear it for the 20-year old who jumped into the ocean because he couldn't hold his breath anymore.
"You guys want to keep living clean and healthy then I'd say you should start thinking about the ramifications that your actions cause," said Bryan.
If you'd like to learn more about the Rubbish app click here.