Ocean conservation group Shark Stewards has partnered with the National Parks Service by adopting the Aquatic Park National Marine Heritage Area in San Francisco. “We are proud of our maritime heritage and helping maintain our local National Park,” said David McGuire, Director of Shark Stewards.
The group is motivating volunteers from the adjacent Dolphin Rowing and Swimming Club and local schools conducting beach surveys and clean ups. The clean ups adopt the marine debris survey method of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as they conduct bi-weekly clean ups at the beach. The group is emphasizing cleaning up, counting and recycling cigarette butts.
“Dolphins love the Bay, and that’s why we are proud to help keep our park clean, and prevent plastic from entering the Bay,” said Diane Walton, Vice President of the Dolphin Club.
Clean ups are every other Saturday at 9:00AM. Volunteers can join the clean ups at Aquatic Park. The group meets outside the Dolphin Club, west end cleaning and supporting Aquatic Park National Marine Heritage Area.
“Since January 2016 we have picked up over 12,000 cigarette butts. This common waste is toxic and harmful to children and marine life. We are bringing youth and community members to the Bay, reducing plastic waste from entering the Bay and ocean, especially cigarette butts, added McGuire”
Shark Stewards has compiled the following facts:
- Cigarette butts account for approximately one in every three items collected during our beach cleanups.
- Cigarette butts are non degradable materials that concentrate toxins.
- These plastics, carcinogens and other toxins are killing marine wildlife from sharks to seabirds.
- 3 Billion cigarette butts are discarded in San Francisco each year.
- Caltrans spends $41 million a year just cleaning up discarded butts, and the tiny City and County of San Francisco spends $6 million a year on the same task in its 49 square miles.
More information can be found at the group’s website at Sharkstewards.org.