By Eric Heinz 

Shon Miller spends a great deal of his time at San Clemente beaches, and he sees firsthand how much litter piles up at each of them.
Miller, the executive director and founder of the San Clemente Beach Conservation Program (BCP), said debris continues to be a problem at the various beaches, but the one item that seems to be increasing is the amount of discarded cigarette butts.

“We see a lot more in the spring and summer. As you can see, it’s already getting busier,” Miller said. “We need additional signage or a different trash receptacle that shows people (where to dispose of cigarette butts) and have it more visible for people.”

Shon Miller, founder and executive director of San Clemente Beach Conservation Program, says he has seen an increase of littered cigarette butts at San Clemente beaches. Photo: Eric Heinz
Shon Miller, founder and executive director of San Clemente Beach Conservation Program, says he has seen an increase of littered cigarette butts at San Clemente beaches. Photo: Eric Heinz

In order to show the volume of butts left on the beach, Miller said he would like to gather full water cooler jugs, which hold about five to seven gallons of liquid, and fill them with the refuse.

According to Orange County Coastkeeper, a study found that cigarette butts that were dropped as far as 30 miles from the coastline were found to make their way to the ocean after rainfall or erosion.

The next BCP cleanup is scheduled for 4 p.m. at April 7, when they will host a Friday cleanup with pizza and s’mores.

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