Students Clean Up Ponto Beach


This lone bag was one of hundreds scavenged by Sage Creek students in pursuit of cleaning the beach

Trash is a persistent problem on Carlsbad beaches. The Local Love Club and the National Honor Society of Sage Creek High School gathered about 20 students together at Ponto Beach last Saturday morning and spent an hour cleaning it up.

The students cleaned up many items that would have detracted from the enjoyment of the beach. “I found three beer bottles,” sophomore Riley Hull said after picking them up. Litter left over from drinking alcohol was commonly found during the clean up including bottles, caps, and labels. The clean up crew pondered the type of person who would litter as they cleaned the beach. “Irresponsible people,” senior Heather Feldmann said when asked where she thought the trash came from.

However, the trash found was not all from just irresponsible drinkers. Other items found were in good condition which indicates that they simply could have been lost. Sophomore Crystin Trautz-Vanderlip “found a big piece of cloth” and Feldmann found Barbie dolls.

Fortunately, the students had a few respites from their arduous work. While cleaning up, the workers were able to enjoy the beach and some of the animals that make their homes there. In addition to the many birds that were seen walking in the surf looking for food, more unique animals were seen like squirrels and sand crabs.

The motivations for the students to clean up the beach varied from a love of nature to a desire for helping others, to getting community service hours. The collaboration between the Local Love Club and the National Honor Society clearly helped to create a strong turn out. Junior Megan Mattson, from the latter club, explained that her membership in the club prompted her to join in the clean up effort.

The event ended with the students gathered near the lifeguard station chatting and laughing with each other. They had a clear sense of pride that they did something good with their Saturday morning. Hull explained why he was proud of what the students had accomplished, “Ponto Beach is an important part of our environment.” At the end of the morning’s work, the students of Sage Creek left this one small corner of our world one step closer to its natural splendor.