San Francisco

Volunteers Clean Up Junk, Plastic From Aquatic Park Beach in San Francisco For Third Time Following Super Bowl Fireworks Show

Volunteers have now spent 23 hours of cleanup following the two Macy’s fireworks shows during Super Bowl week.

For the third time, coastal volunteers have gone to clean up San Francisco’s Aquatic Park after the Super Bowl fireworks show. And for the third time, they’ve come back with piles of plastic, junk and remnants of two pyrotechnics shows.

David McGuire, founder of the Ocean Health and Shark Conservation and the nonprofit Shark Stewards, said volunteers have now spent 23 hours of cleanup following the two Macy’s fireworks shows on Jan. 30 on Feb. 6, and again on Feb. 13. And he is wishing aloud for some corporate responsibility.

David McGuire/Shark Stewards
Garbage found on Aquatic Park Beach in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2016 after third post-Super Bowl cleanup.

After the first show, the National Park Service along with Shark Stewards filled four 50-gallon trash cans. After the second show, the Shark Stewards and the San Francisco Dolphin Club picked up about 30 pounds of cardboard and more than 1,000 pieces of plastic and firecracker fuses at the same beach.

Faced with criticism with the fallout from the first pyrotechnics display, Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras said the company would work with Pryo Spectaculars to prevent any more messes marring the beach. And Macy’s did make some changes to the second show and even dispatched their own employees to help clean up afterwards, Veras said. It appears as though the junk from the second and third cleanups might in fact be fallout from the first show that may have taken some time to wash up on shore, both side agree.

Still, the garbage is not good for the marine life.

San Francisco Baykeeper Executive Director Sejal Choksi-Chugh said her nonprofit agency has the power under the Clean Water Act to enforce keeping the bay clean.  But as of Tuesday, no citations had been issued and no one has paid for the volunteer time to clean up the beach.

“Perhaps it’s time for a conversation with Macy’s,” McGuire said.

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