A Clean Sweep

Despite the clouds and looming gray from a night of steady rainfall, dozens gathered by Tower 22 Sunday morning for the annual Dory Deli Beach Clean Up. The ocean was quiet, the sand vaguely wet as volunteers checked in for the feel-good community event. Each was greeted in turn with a pair of gloves, water bottles from Incipio Group, and free to-go cups of coffee and hot chocolate provided by organizer Dory Deli, the effervescent little spot along West Oceanfront serving great poke, coastal-inspired cocktails and wave-washed views.

“This is our favorite event of the year to show how much we love Newport Beach!” Dory Deli posted on its official Instagram account.

Why, you might ask, a beach clean up during an undeniable lull in the season, when hardly more than a few dozen sunbathers or joggers skit across the sand? (Even Surfline declared this winter one of the slowest and worst for surf on the West Coast, ever.)

To the casual observer, the swathe of beach by Newport Pier may appear relatively clean (Balboa Peninsula consistently ranks among the cleanest shorelines in California) but a less cursory glance would prove that speckled among seashells and surfboards, you’ll find plastic bags, empty beer bottles and whatever else hazards to fall from careless beachgoer’s hands.

A clean up is always needed.

Better yet, the Dory Deli Clean Up not only brought locals together to gleefully pick up trash but also amalgamated a set of invested, engaged sponsors. Among the tents lining the beach path: Incipio Group, The Board Club and The Ben Carlson Memorial & Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to outstanding students in memory of the fallen Newport Beach waterman and lifeguard.

Additional sponsors included: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Newport Harbor High School, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Newport Heights Foundation.

If you couldn’t make the clean up but now find yourself inspired to put together a local clean up of your own, get started by visiting the Ocean Conservancy website here.