I was stunned when I crested the steps at Wilmar at sunrise on Friday, July 5, to discover that my beautiful Pismo Beach had become a garbage dump overnight. Garbage bags dotted the landscape. Chairs, coolers, bottles, cans, spent fireworks, towels, clothes, shoes, trash and food littered the sand.
Thirty yards of garbage were collected off Pismo beaches, streets and parking areas on Friday. Thanks to a public works crew of 20 who began their workday at 5:30 a.m. with two backhoes, a loader and a dump truck, our beach’s beauty was promptly restored. The city’s pre-emptive move of providing visitors with the aforementioned garbage bags undoubtedly reduced the crew’s workload exponentially. Fortunately, the high tide on the Fourth of July saved our ocean from swallowing a huge mouthful of trash overnight!
I was raised understanding that a person who tosses his or her trash on the ground and leaves it there is a “litterbug,” and that “nobody loves a litterbug.” Perhaps it is time to revisit the litterbug public-service advertising campaign. Until then, I would like to inform our beach visitors of the golden rule when visiting the great outdoors: If you pack it in, pack it out!