Written on September 21, 2015

Ongoing restoration of the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge by Oceanforce Foundation and Partners

This past Saturday September 19th 2015 local high school students, community residents, allied organizations and volunteers gathered up to continue to show the Sweetwater Marsh some love and TLC as part of the global efforts and celebration happening on “International Coastal Cleanup Day.”

This time around the celebration brought together around 60 volunteers that worked hard under the morning sun to collect trash and debris accumulated along the shore in beautiful Chula Vista Bay Front. Lots of single use plastics as well as discarded marine industry materials and rubbish were more than enough to top off two 3 Cu. Yards recycle bins and one whole trash bin. Among the items founds were styrofoam cups and containers, cigarette butts, plastic straws, rubber bands, plastic balls, electronics, pallets, hoses, car tires, shopping carts, rope, monofilament, plastic sheeting, copper paint, a 14k gold and diamond ring, other unimaginable plastic items and styrofoam, styrofoam and more styrofoam.

Early in the morning Students from Castle Park High School lead by Science teacher Mr. Manroe helped Oceanforce Foundation “kick-start” a micro plastics research project. Their task entailed collecting the first three water samples from the bay for a study that will measure the amount of microplastics in the water.  Prior to collecting the samples, students learned about some the dangers of microplastics entering our food chain thus our bodies. The hands on component of the learning process will give the students a glimpse at the severity of the issue. Not to mention the research skills aquired as students had to follow scientific protocols to precisely collect the samples needed. Oceanforce Foundation will continue to engage students, local residents and the local and national scientific communities in this ongoing research which will help us  better understand the wildlife and human health impacts and the extent of micro plastic particles and polyester fivers in our waterways. This scientific study conducted in the San Diego Bay is part of a newly established partnership between Oceanforce Foundation and the Bozeman, Montana based organization Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) – http://www.adventurescience.org/

As always we were pleased to have students from Castle Park High School, Muller Charter School, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts as well as all of our awesome friends and neighbors come out, lend a hand and make a difference. These efforts were also made possible in part by the generous support of our friends and allies I Love a Clean San Diego, the San Diego Port Tenants Association, and the Port of San Diego.

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