Massive Trash Pile Found in Newport Harbor

Jun 3, 2013

An environmental group that specializes in the cleanup of the ocean floor says it has found a huge pile of debris in Newport Harbor.  The community is coming together to clean it up.

The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean discovered the debris field May 23rd while cruising Newport Harbor in a yacht equipped with an underwater camera. Rozalia Project founder and director Rachel Miller said it’s 10 feet off the dock of the Newport Harbor Hotel and measures 10 by 40 feet in diameter.

"We found an underwater trash heap  of thousands and thousands of bottles, cans, cups, food wrappers and almost you name it right between the docks and the little basin. Bigger than any other underwater trash heap we’ve seen in four years of operations."

Newport Harbor Hotel dockmaster Mark Holden said he was shocked to learn of the discovery and is recruiting volunteers to help clean it up.

"You know we’re going to be looking for some volunteer divers and maybe just pay for their air tanks. We also want to put our best foot forward on this."

Neither Miller nor Holden believes people deliberately pitched trash into the harbor. Rather, they believe it blew out of overflowing trash cans and from restaurant decks.