CTSI Ocean Beach Clean Up

From left: Jane (Nat'l Parks Conserv.), Cynthia Piontowski, Deborah Grady, Nooshin Latour, Amy Silprasert, Angela Rizk-Jackson, Jon Rueter, Anja Wehrmann, Nate Buscher, Leslie Yuan, Brian Turner. Not shown: Oksana Gologorskaya, Aria Yow

By Aria Yow

On Tuesday morning, September 9, CTSI teammates had a chance to help keep San Francisco’s Ocean Beach beautiful. As temporary “park stewards”, teammates enjoyed a mild day at the beach while helping improve wildlife habitat both locally and globally. Addressing their global impact during her orientation, National Parks Conservancy (NPC) worker Jane explained how San Francisco serves as one of the crucial and harmful, last stops for waste on its way to the Great Pacific garbage patch.

Once on the beach, teammates fanned out from the San Francisco Zoo north to the base of the Cliff House. Several teammates returned periodically to the emptying site with their full buckets. After the team reconvened, NPC worker Jane emptied all the remaining buckets into three large ca. 30-gallon bags. It was a very gratifying visual demo of their impact and success. Feedback after the event showed strong support for similar, future events.

CTSI staff volunteer quotations:

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch does not stand a chance against the valiant CTSI volunteer beach brigade.” - Cynthia Piontkowski

“The Ocean Beach clean up not only provided a chance to catch up with colleagues that we may not work directly with, but also unload several large buckets of trash off the beach to make a visible difference. I also learned about the Great Pacific garbage patch.” - Nooshin Latour

“It was great to be in nature and do something good. I also appreciated spending time with colleagues I don’t often get the chance to spend time with and that CTSI leadership joined us.” - Brian Turner

“Thanks so much … for the opportunity to do something good with my coworkers!” – Oksana Gologorskaya

“I enjoyed seeing my teammates benefit the health of the local and wider environment. There was lots of enthusiasm. I also appreciate that leadership supported this project implicitly and in person, through their participation.” - Aria Yow

Sample items picked up:

  • A 1099 Tax form from the year 1991, payment from “Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater”
  • A guitar pick
  • An industrial-strength spring
  • Many glass, paper & Styrofoam scraps; also toxic cigarette butts & filters, food & drink containers, wrappers.