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Pismo Beach City Manager Jorge Garcia picks up trash near Pismo Pier during post-4th of July cleanup on July 5, 2024. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

PISMO BEACH, Calif. – Just hours after the final 4th of July fireworks faded into the night sky above the Pismo Pier, Pismo Beach city workers, along with community volunteers were on the sand Friday morning helping cleanup the coastline.

“Every year at 5:30 a.m., our entire public works crew, as well as various executives from other departments come and join in the efforts to clean up the beach,” said Pismo Beach City Manager Jorge Garcia. “It’s important for us that after we have a large celebration like the 4th of July, where we have about 100,000 people on our beach, that we then go back and restore it, and pick up all those little plastics, trash and other things that we find on the beach.”

Crews started in the area just off of Addie Street and moved slowly along the coastline in a northern direction, picking up trash up to the point far as the beach runs just past Harloe Avenue.

“We want people to keep the beaches clean,” said Garcia. “Our employees take it to heart. It’s not just a job for them. They are passionate about this community and this environment, so when you have those two things come together, we end up with a beautiful Central Coast.”

With tens of thousands of people packing the beach on the 4th of July, Garcia said visitors left quite a bit of stuff behind on the sand and nearby streets.

“It runs the gamut,” said Garcia. “Cigarette butts, trash, broken toys, is what we see a lot of, but really, what we are seeing more and more every year is the tear off of different items, so it’s when you tear your ketchup packet. It’s when you tear that package of toys, when you tear into different packages, those things get left behind, and that’s what we are here cleaning up.”

Helping out Pismo Beach city employees in the cause were a number of community volunteers too, who pitched in and assisted in the cleanup.

“Just wanted to make sure our local beach is clean after all the people who were down here last night,” said Arroyo Grande resident Pat Furnari. “It’s a great feeling. It’s like a feeling of accomplishment to help keep the environment clean. You have to start somewhere, so why not in our own backyard?”

Also helping the cleanup effort was a simple, but effective gesture the city started last year with 4th of July beachgoers.

“We give trash bags to everybody,” said Garcia. “As we see families enjoying the 4th of July on the beach, we go out and we give them trash bags, so then they’re putting most of their items into those trash bags and leaving them by the cans.┬áThat really has helped make us more efficient and more effective. Now our crews, where we used to spend from 5:30 a.m. to about 9 a.m., now we’re pretty much wrapped up by about 7:30 a.m.”

As soon the fog lifted Friday morning at around 8:30 a.m., the beach around the pier area was clean and ready for the thousands of visitors expected to pack the coastline later in the day and throughout the upcoming holiday weekend.

With temperatures soaring well above triple digits in many parts of the Central Coast and throughout the San Joaquin Valley where many Pismo Beach visitors arrive from, the city is expecting a significant influx of people over the next few days.

“We’re we’re going to see crowds all weekend, said Garcia. “We want to make sure that when people come to Pismo Beach, they have an enjoyable experience, and that enjoyable experience starts with a clean beach, a clean Pier Plaza and a clean environment, so that’s why it’s really important to us.”

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