Beaches Have a Trashy Reputation That's Losing Orange County Millions: Government Study

Categories: Environment

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Scenes from Orange County beaches

Trash on Orange County beaches is losing locals millions and millions of dollars every summer, according to government research.

John Metcalfe has the scoop--a double-fisted one full of cigarette butts, we'd imagine--for
The Atlantic CityLife.

He focuses on a new economic report about Orange County by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For those playing it home, a different NOAA report essentially stopped the 241 toll road from being extended to Trestles beach.

The study from NOAA's Marine Debris Program and consulting firm Industrial Economics had 1,500 people interviewed by phone about the places they visit for brief or weekend getaways. Concerns about water quality and washed-up debris like plastic and industrial lumber left folks feeling the sand and water are polluted, so they willingly drive farther to avoid OC beaches, according to the study. That's costing us bucko bucks, people!

The researchers recommend Orange County hold more beach cleanups. From the sounds of it, volunteers in bathing suits should be joined by others in business suits: NOAA suggests if the amount of trash on our beaches was cut in half, OC residents would save up to $67 million in the summertime alone.

A chart on OC's savings potential that accompanied the NOAA study follows on the next page ...

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