Environment

SLO Surfrider wants you to help stop smoking at the beach. How? Use #Butts4Brown

Ian Zamora holds his cigarette at the wall separating the parking area from the sand at Surfrider Beach in Malibu. A hashtag campaign aims to convince the governor to ban smoking at California beaches.
Ian Zamora holds his cigarette at the wall separating the parking area from the sand at Surfrider Beach in Malibu. A hashtag campaign aims to convince the governor to ban smoking at California beaches. AP

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to ban smoking on state beaches and parks last year, but the San Luis Obispo chapter of Surfrider has come up with a unique campaign they hope will make him reconsider:

#Butts4Brown

The hashtag is part of the chapter’s Hold On To Your Butt Program which works to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter on the ocean and beaches. It asks people to take pictures of cigarette butts they see on the beach and post them to social media using the hashtag.

“We’d love to collect all the butts throughout the year, drive them to Sacramento in a dump truck, and drop them on the lawn of the governor’s mansion,” program organizer Cynthia Replogle said in a news release. “But that poses logistical problems, so we’ve created a social media campaign to convince Brown to sign the bills into law this year.”

According to the release, cigarette butts are the No. 1 item found in the state’s coastal cleanups — on Coastal Cleanup Day last year, volunteers with Surfrider and ECOSLO picked up nearly 15,000 cigarette butts from SLO County coastal areas.

The group is conducting a cleanup Saturday at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area that will give volunteers the chance to not only take part in the hashtag campaign, but also clean up the beach as they do so.

Replogle said anyone can participate in the campaign, wherever they see cigarette butts on a state beach.

The group plans to deliver copies of all photos tagged with the hashtag to Brown when two bills regarding smoking bans on beaches — SB 836 and AB 1097 — are expected to go before him later this year.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

To participate:

The beach cleanup begins at 10 a.m. at the Oceano Dunes SVRA, north entrance at the end of Grand Avenue. For more information on the Hold On To Your Butt program, go to https://slo.surfrider.org/programs/clean-water/hold-on-to-your-butt/.

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