Convention Center Staff Volunteers at Operation Clean Sweep

Beautifying the waterfront was the early morning-mission of nearly 40 staff members of the San Diego Convention Center and in-house catering team Centerplate, at the 27th annual "Operation Clean Sweep" held on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

This is the first year the convention center participated and served as a sponsor of the event.

Operation Clean Sweep, hosted by members of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, brings volunteers and Port of San Diego tenant businesses together, with a goal of removing trash and debris from a variety of locations all around San Diego Bay.

"We are so happy to be doing our part to protect and preserve our bayfront," said Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, President & CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. "Our convention center sits right on San Diego Bay and the waterfront is part of what attracts meeting planners to our venue. It's only fitting that our staff lends a hand to this environmental effort."

The convention center team of volunteers was assigned to Convair Lagoon located on the bayside of Harbor Island. Other volunteers worked at clean-up sites around the bay including Barrio Logan and Chollas Creek.

Among the unique items convention center staff recovered from the shore was an inflatable boat that had washed ashore, a bicycle, a ceiling fan and a seat from a boat.

Volunteers had this to say about the experience:

"I kept my Operation Clean Sweep t-shirt for the rest of the day and got such great feedback from people who said, 'Thank you for taking your time to make this happen,'" said Director of Catering Dorianne Mormann. "The community really appreciates organizations that take care of the city, making it the best place to live."

"It was a fun morning volunteering for Operation Clean Sweep along with the San Diego Convention Center team," said Event Manager Dianne Javier. "Operation Clean Sweep is well organized, informative and gave us all the necessary tools to help with clean up. The time was well spent bonding with my co-workers and maintaining our beautiful San Diego Bay. It also gave several of us the opportunity to bring out young family members and teach them the importance of giving back and taking care of our San Diego home."

Even a visiting event manager from Germany who is working at the convention center expressed his appreciation to the San Diego Port Tenants, allowing him an opportunity to give back to his host city.

"This was a good thing for me to give something back to San Diego which has been so welcoming," said Kai-Uwe Ludwig, representing the International Congress Center Munich.

The total weight of all trash collected is still being tallied, but here is the overall count so far:

  • Over 23,000 pounds of trash from 18 sites around San Diego Bay
  • Over 500 cigarette butts collected from the USS Midway volunteer team; 4,000 collected along the Harbor Drive median
  • Over 1,000 volunteers

The community service-oriented event assigned volunteers to various clean-up sites around the bay’s watershed and shoreline. In addition to the convention center team, volunteers included civilians, military, Harbor Police divers, and local businesses that work along San Diego Bay.

Operation Clean Sweep is sponsored by the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the Port of San Diego, Navy Region Southwest, Pacific Tugboat, United States Coast Guard, EDCO Waste & Recycling Services, San Diego Gas & Electric and dozens of Port Tenant Businesses.

In just the last 6 years, organizers have taken 119.36 tons of debris out of the bay.

Posted by Barbara Moreno, on August 31, 2017
News and Developments

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