Thousands of volunteers from around California will converge on beaches, lakes and rivers for the 24th annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 20. They will join many more volunteers taking part in the larger International Coastal Cleanup, which spans more than 70 countries and involves hundreds of thousands of volunteers, making it the world’s largest volunteer event. All those people will be working to mitigate the impact of the billions of pounds of trash that get dumped into the world’s oceans every year.
The California portion of this international effort began in 1985 with 2,500 participants. Since then, the program has grown significantly, setting a record last year with more than 60,000 participants. Since 1985, volunteers have cleaned up nearly 12 million pounds of trash and recyclables. The cleanup has also moved far inland over the last 23 years, expanding its scope to include trash in rivers, lakes, and creeks that eventually would wind up in the ocean.
Bay Area residents have played a large part in this effort, and it’s easy for you to join in. Last year alone, nearly 17,000 Bay Area volunteers cleaned up more than a quarter-million pieces of debris. The California Coastal Commission projects an even higher turnout this year.
To sign up to volunteer or for more information, go to the Coastal Cleanup website or call (800)COAST-4U.
Coastal Cleanup Day also kicks off Coastweeks, a 21-day statewide series of talks, hikes, and restoration projects designed to connect Californians to the coastline and enlist their help in protecting it. Find out more here.