Channel 1 Los Angeles
9/5/2020 MARINA DEL REY, California
Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors (DBH). Beach parties, barbecues and bonfires are still not allowed. As part of Coastal Cleanup Month, visitors also are urged to help keep the sand clean by bringing their trash home for disposal.
Unless they are eating, drinking or in the ocean, beachgoers must wear face masks, according to current protocols established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. They should maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from people who are not in their households.
While beachgoers may bring up to 10 members of their own households to the beach, gatherings between members of two or more households are still prohibited.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of following the public health guidelines,” DBH Director Gary Jones said. “It is absolutely imperative that beachgoers avoid crowds. If the beaches get too crowded, we may be forced to close them again.”
Grills, personal fire pits and bonfires are not allowed at any beach or in any beach parking lot. Debris from illegal bonfires on the sand is not only toxic to marine life; it is also difficult to clean up. Smoldering fires buried in the sand pose high risks of serious burns and other injuries to unsuspecting beachgoers.
Debris from illegal fires isn’t the only thing polluting the sand. Beachgoers also have left a significant amount of trash littering the beaches and ocean this summer.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to “pack in, pack out,” especially throughout September, which is Coastal Cleanup Month. That means bringing everything they brought to the beach back home with them—including their garbage. Most of DBH’s beach maintenance crews are assigned to clean and sanitize the County’s 52 beach restroom facilities along the coast as often as six times per day due to COVID-19, leaving fewer resources to address beach trash. DBH staff and County Goodwill Ambassadors will be handing out trash bags to visitors over the Labor Day weekend at some of the County’s largest beaches, including Dockweiler, Will Rogers and Zuma.
Uncontained trash can end up in the ocean, where it can kill marine life. Overflowing trash bins also attract seagulls that scatter the trash all over the sand.
“We’re asking the beach-going public to help us protect our precious marine environment by taking more personal responsibility for disposing of their own trash,” Jones said.