SANTA BARBARA — The sea creatures that reside, or pass through, the Santa Barbara Harbor may breathe easier after Sunday. Operation Clean Sweep, an annual seafloor debris cleanup, will tidy up around docks and piers from 8-11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Volunteer divers and around 40 dock workers will snatch junk out of the ocean and dispose of it properly. They will focus on the trash beneath the California Urchin Divers Association dock, Fish Float North and Stearns Wharf.
Community members can join in by helping clean up West Beach. Slip permittees are able to drop off bulky trash and e-waste.
The operation is held by the city’s waterfront department and garners volunteers from NOAA, SB Maritime Museum, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, SB Sail and Power Squadron, Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute and harbor dive businesses.
The event launches with a briefing on the travel lift pier beneath the harbormaster’s office, and a box lunch wraps up the occasion.
Volunteers have removed over 20 tons of debris in the last 12 years of Operation Clean Sweep. They’ve fished out bicycles, barbeques, plastic barrels, boat propellers, wire cages, outboard engines, phones, computers and marine batteries.
— Annelise Hanshaw