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 Volunteers and Students Help with Beach Cleanup

Students and mentors involved with the PASS AmeriCorps program helped to clean up trash at three San Diego County beaches and raise awareness about Earth Day recently as part of I Love a Clean San Diego's Creek to Bay Cleanup.

The clean-up events included plenty of people who aren't involved in the PASS AmeriCorps program, but the students and mentors helped to set the events up and guide other volunteers.

"They're there for more than just picking up trash," said Marie E. Pecoraro, a project specialist who coordinates the program for the San Diego County Office of Education. "

The Promoting Achievement and Student Success—or PASS—program is administered locally by the San Diego County Office of Education and serves students in grades 3 through 12 at 21 schools across the county, including campuses in San Diego, Oceanside, Vista, and Valley Center.

At Buena Creek in Vista, 132 volunteers removed 1,249 pounds of garbage. At Mission Bay in San Diego, 144 volunteers cleaned up 147 pounds of trash. There were also more than 100 volunteers at Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside that removed more than 50 pounds of trash.

Participants said they enjoyed the experience.

"It was fun and actually good because you help to clean your environment," a Vista High School students who participated said.

Overall, approximately 5,700 volunteers removed 125,000 pounds of trash and recyclables at 106 sites as part of the cleanup effort.

Photo: PASS AmeriCorps volunteers help cleanup Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside April 25.