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Tsunami Debris, Paint, and… Intestines? A Creek to Bay Site Captain Profile

The 12th annual Creek to Bay cleanup is coming up on April 26! We like to give our volunteers some background on the site captains who help lead the cleanup, as well as some facts about various sites at which they may volunteer. Today we profiled Wainwright Hester, a long-time C2B site captain and big advocate of cleaning up SD!

Hester captaining away at C2B
Hester captaining away at C2B

Wainwright Hester had been organizing cleanups at his work for years, often at Creek to Bay sites.  One year a  call went out for  site captains and he thought he’d help out and give it a try.  Seeing all of the trash that could have stayed in the area without all of the volunteers’ hard work made the whole experience well worth it.  Wainwright thinks the C2B cleanup is really important for our local environment.  So much debris collects in our waterways that, if not regularly cleaned out, it would cascade into a much bigger problem! If we can catch those containers with paint, oil, or whatever chemical is lurking inside of them, before they degrade enough to leak, we can keep a simple cleanup from  turning into a major cleanup. Plus, the longer trash is in our waterways, the more it decays from one big piece into numerous smaller pieces and thus making it harder to completely remove.

c2b13 trash

This year, as he has in the past, Wainwright is captaining  Torrey Pines State Park and, according to the California Coastal Commission, Torrey Pines is a prime site for Japanese tsunami debris to accumulate. Last year he didn’t find any obvious tsunami debris but volunteers could possibly find some this year.  When asked what the weirdest object Wainwright found at a cleanup was, he replied, “I was at Ponto State Beach a few years ago and someone found animal intestines. Animal: at least that’s what we kept telling ourselves.” Hey, at least our cleanups are both beneficial AND keep you on your toes?

Volunteers of all ages, helping clean up Torrey Pines State Beach!
Volunteers of all ages, helping clean up Torrey Pines State Beach!

Wainwright’s favorite part of the Creek to Bay Cleanup is the volunteers. Since they are volunteering, they often have a volunteering attitude so they are willing to do whatever needs to be done to make his C2B site a success.

Any final words to encourage our wonderful ILACSD team to sign up and volunteer for C2B 2014, Wainwright? “I think that everyone should participate in at least one clean up in their lifetime because it would bring awareness to what actually happens when someone does not throw their trash into a trash can. It would be a real eye opener for people who think that litter is either not a problem or that nature alone can handle it.” We couldn’t put it better.  Thanks for all your hard work, Wainwright, and we look forward to seeing you on the 26th!

Join Wainwright at Torrey Pines, or any of our other 90+ inland and coastal Creek to Bay cleanup locations: sign up today!



  1. I don’t think any organization that supports the environent should have it’s events at Seaworld. I object to this and it makes ILACSD look non authentic. Many of us are boycotting Seaworld so why don’t you??

  2. Hi Cynthia- thanks for the message. ILACSD understands and appreciates the sensitivity of this issue and of course know there are concerns. However, we really support SeaWorld’s conservation and education efforts, as well as their partnership with our Adopt-A-Beach program. SeaWorld also helped us rescue sea lions we find during our cleanups! SeaWorld is also generously helping defer costs of our event, and therefore leaving us more funds to do the work about which we all care. For these reasons, we are extending our partnership with SeaWorld, which we’ve had since the 1970s. We hope this doesn’t deter your support for ILACSD. But thanks again for the message, we always want to hear what your thoughts are.

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