Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer travel season, which means a flood of trash will likely find its way into the Santa Monica Bay.
That's why the Los Angeles Waterkeepers want to remind visitors, especially beach goers, to mind your trash.
Research shows that 80 percent of marine debris starts on land, according to L.A. Waterkeeper.
Trash that people leave behind or that escapes receptacles gets blown by wind or carried by rain into storm drains, which then flow to bays, rivers and eventually the ocean.
"L.A.'s two major waterways, L.A. River and Ballona Creek, are federally listed as impaired by trash. This problem starts in our neighborhoods and city centers, and works its way to our beaches and bays," executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper Liz Crosson said.
The best way to reduce trash in the Santa Monica Bay is to stop trash at its source, says the L.A. Waterkeeper, which offers these tips to cut down on pollution:
- Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace by packing out everything you brought in and disposing of it at home.
- Skip the single-use bag. Bring your goods to the beach in a reusable bag or big storage container.
- Pick up three.
Adopt the mantra: "I cleaned after me. Now I will pick up three."
Remember to pick up any additional trash littering the space around you.
- Grab your butts. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the country. Remember to collect and properly dispose of your cigarettes, and remind your friends to do the same.