Dog walkers livid over fireworks debris on beaches 

click to enlarge Party trash: Fireworks on the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday angled some of the display toward the water. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Party trash: Fireworks on the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday angled some of the display toward the water.

The spectacular fireworks display for the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge delighted tens of thousands of onlookers — but the aftermath of the pyrotechnic feat is receiving far less fanfare.

“Hundreds” of plastic caps and a sizable amount of cardboard have reportedly been washing up on local shorelines, including Crissy Field, Baker Beach and Ocean Beach. The detritus was noticed by dog walkers, who have been locked in long-standing disagreements over leash laws with the same federal officials in charge of managing Crissy Field — home to fragile wildlife populations such as the western snowy plover.

“We’ve been under such fire, but it’s such a double standard,” Martha Walters, head of the Crissy Field Dog Group, said after finding the washed-up trash. “They say the dogs are ruining the environment, but then they do this.”

Walters emailed the sharp criticism to top brass at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, an offshoot of the National Park Service. She contacted Frank Dean, general superintendent of the GGNRA, telling him planners “forgot to think about the consequences on the environment for this event.” As of Wednesday, she had not received a response.

Walters said she and other dog walkers picked up the trash from the three beaches Tuesday and Wednesday.
Howard Levitt, a spokesman for GGNRA, said an increased amount of trash had been anticipated for the large event, and some of it could have likely been caused by the fireworks. He said beach cleaners were deployed on Monday and Tuesday to clear some of the mess and they’d continue to do so.

“Any event that has up to 150,000 people, there’s going to be debris leftover,” Levitt said. “Whatever debris is there, we’re going to clean it up.”

The event was planned by the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, which did not return requests for comment.

Two barges were used to launch fireworks during the show, along with a setup that spanned the length of the bridge and was used to shoot some of the display down toward the water.

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Dan Schreiber

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