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Dana Point’s Local Business Spotlight: Stand Up to Trash

March 9, 2000

Dana Point’s Local Business Spotlight

While Dana Point is surrounded by breathtaking ocean views and picturesque landscapes, it’s our tight knit community that truly makes Dana Point so special. Whether you’re visiting for the day or booking a stay with us, our community welcomes and embraces everyone. Our Dana Point Local Business Spotlight showcases local business owners, artists, makers, and the positive imprint they leave on our beloved city. 

We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the individuals that make Dana Point the community it is today! Thanks for following along and stay tuned for interviews each month!

Stand Up to Trash, with Founder Vicki Patterson

Have you ever wondered how Dana Point’s beaches and harbor always stay so clean? Well a big part of this can be attributed to Vicki Patterson, the founder of Stand Up to Trash! Vicki has dedicated much of her time and love to keeping Dana Point spotless and she has started quite the movement in doing so. Vicki founded Stand Up to Trash, not only to educate our community, but to get everyone involved in protecting our environment. Dana Point is truly so fortunate to have such a vast amount of wildlife and it takes everyone coming together to protect and preserve our ocean friends and beaches. Stand Up to Trash now holds monthly community beach cleanups and lunch and learns to maintain our beaches and educate sustainable habits. Thank you Vicki for educating, inspiring, and leading environmental change in our community!


Visit Dana Point: For those who don’t know about your business, would you please describe who you are and what you offer?

Vicki Patterson: Hi there! I’m Vicki Patterson. I’ve called Dana Point home for over 40 years. I’m the Founder and President of the non profit Stand Up To Trash whose mission is to protect and conserve our ocean by raising awareness of the negative effects caused by plastic pollution through environmental education for future generations. 

Our Goal -To inspire sustainable changes to be a part of the solution.

Our Vision -We believe in caring for the community and the planet. We’re here to inspire and educate. Nourishing the importance of responsible ocean stewardship by adopting and embracing new sustainable habits.

Visit Dana Point: Can you talk about when you decided to start your own business and what inspired you?

Vicki Patterson: I usually start my days on my paddle board. I‘m a lifelong vegetarian, yep my parents were even vegetarian! I’ve had an organic garden for over 30 years, I compost, vermi compost, lately I’ve been creating my own loose leaf tea blends and always learning something new about living sustainably.  

The connection to such magnificent wildlife, like paddling with dolphins or whales or seeing a jellyfish surrounded by plastic and other trash. I felt a sense of obligation that they shouldn’t have to swim around our trash! And then further learning that over 100,000 animals die a year from entanglement and/or ingestion.

I had friends following me on social media that were inspired that I would be cleaning the beach at sunrise before my paddle, clean the ocean as I saw trash and cleaned the beach again as I was leaving. 

One person was so generous he gave the first donation to form the 501(c)(3) to enable me to inspire others! 

Visit Dana Point: What are the biggest rewards as a business owner? Or one of your proudest moments?

Vicki Patterson: I LOVE seeing all the kids at the cleanups. I love asking kids questions in an assembly that I think they won’t be able to answer and they do! I love hearing testimonials from people that they can’t walk past trash anymore without picking it up.

Visit Dana Point: Where do you see your business in the future?

Vicki Patterson: We’re so happy with the success of our Lunch & Learn program that we’re creating 2 new programs, both geared towards kids. 

One is, Today’s Youth Tomorrow’s Leaders Online Learning Series -whose mission is to promote environmental stewardship and provide information and resources why it’s important by providing building blocks to live eco-friendly and sustainable lives. We’ll be hosting these quarterly and free for all kids 8-18. 

The other is The Ocean Starts At Your Front Door – Utilizing the beach as a living classroom, The Ocean Starts at Your Front Door will teach kids about the different ways trash travels and ends up in the ocean, the harmful effects of marine debris and how to prevent ocean pollution. They’ll learn about watersheds, tide pools and marine mammals, including our California Grey Whale. We’ll be providing them take home educational kits that will include experiments and educational mementos that will be reminders that a healthy ocean begins at home!

We’re also starting chapters in other areas to spread our mission!

Visit Dana Point: When you’re not working, what is your favorite thing to do in Dana Point?

Vicki Patterson: It’s always a beautiful day in Dana Point. I love this city, it truly is paradise. As you may know I LOVE the ocean, so anything that involves being on it or in it, I’m in! You’ll see me paddle boarding, sailing or walking my rescue dog on any given day!

Visit Dana Point: Is there anything else you would like to include or share?

Vicki Patterson: Meeting people who care for the ocean near and far gives me great joy. I look forward to connecting with you!


Stand Up to Trash Information




Volunteer for the next beach cleanup!

Email: [email protected]