“It’s for the future. It’s for the sea life, it’s for the health of the ocean, it’s for the health of us, and there’s a lot of things that it affects”: these are the reasons why protecting our beach is so important, says Karen Narz-Ferretti, secretary and eight year member of local organization Save Our Beach. “And it’s disgusting to look at!” she adds, “it is!”
If Narz-Ferretti’s words resonate with you, you may be interested in joining Save Our Beach’s latest beach cleanup on Saturday, July 15th. Starting from 1st Street, participants will stroll across the beach to the jetty, picking up much of the trash littering our beautiful beach.
This cleanup is one of many that Save Our Beach hosts every year. According to Narz-Ferretti, “We have them every month on the third Saturday of every month, rain or shine.” The organization dates back to 1999, when founders Steve and Kim Masoner decided to turn their hobby of picking up trash along the beach into an organization. “Kim and Steve used to take walks along the beach and they would find trash, and they started picking it up. It eventually led to people joining them. So, they established Save Our Beach in 1999,” says Narz-Ferretti.
“It is sort of a catalyst for people to think more about what they’re doing,” says Narz-Ferretti, “that’s our goal: make people more aware of where their trash goes when they don’t properly dispose of it.”
Over the years, Save Our Beach has made a significant impact on the Seal Beach community. Since their inception in 1999, the organization has collected a whopping 371 tons of trash. “We will fill a minimum of one dumpster [at each cleanup],” says Narz-Ferretti, “In March or April, when we had the really bad winter storms, we filled four.”
Even more, the organization has united the community in beautifying our beaches. “Over 100,000 people have contributed over 300,000 hours to picking up trash on the beach, which we feel is a direct benefit for the city,” Narz-Ferretti says, “it’s time that they don’t have to pay for, because it’s an entirely volunteer-driven organization.”
Those wishing to participate in Saturday’s cleanup or any later cleanup can easily register at www.saveourbeach.org. All materials and supplies are provided to participants, including gloves, bags, and trash pickers. Although, Narz-Ferretti encourages participants to bring a reusable water bottle as refreshments are not provided.
If you are unable to make it to a cleanup, there are still multiple ways to support the work that Save Our Beach is doing. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Save Our Beach works entirely on donations. Those wishing to donate can do so easily by clicking the “Donate” button at www.saveourbeach.org or by sending donations to the P.O. box listed on the site. According to Narz-Ferretti, these donations go to everything from hosting their website and providing insurance to buying replacement bags and trash pickers. “Any amount helps,” says Narz-Ferretti.