SEAL BEACH (CBSLA) — The near constant rainfall over the past few days has washed Southern California’s streets clean, but has turned local beaches into trash dumps.
Seal Beach has been hit particularly hard. The usually clean stretch of sand is now littered with single-use cups, paper, and all the other rubbish that generally sits innocuously in dry gutters and concrete channels like the L.A. River.
“I’ve seen trash on the beach lots of times, but nothing like this,” Ric Johnson said. “This is, like, orders of magnitude worse than I’ve ever seen.”
But the heavy and steady rainfall since Saturday has pushed even bigger castoffs all the way to the ocean, including toys, traffic cones and suitcases.
“I’m almost in tears, honestly. It’s about to make me sick to my stomach,” Matt Cool said.
An organizer with Save Our Beach, a non-profit that works to keep Seal Beach clean, says trash travels down waterways like the San Gabriel River from 52 different cities and straight into the ocean.
Rain runoff regularly prompts county authorities to warn all swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water after a big storm due to bacteria, debris and other hazards that are washed out to sea.
“I know we had a lot of rain, but this speaks volumes as to how our canals and oceans are controlled, because we’re just missing it,” Cool said.