The 28th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event, will take place on Saturday, September 15.
To find cleanup sites along with tips for safe and waste-free participation, visit www.flowstobay.org/ccd
Local volunteers have dozens of sites to choose from, including inland creeks, bayside parks, and coastal beaches. This year’s event will also provide one of the first opportunities for Cleanup organizers to measure a baseline of debris on our shores that may have washed up as a result of last year’s devastating tsunami in Japan.
After the massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March, 2011, the Japanese Government estimated that as much as 1.5 million tons of debris may have washed out to sea. The West Coast has already begun to feel the impacts of that debris, as items as small as a soccer ball and as large as a 100-ton pier have washed ashore north of the California border. With over 57 miles of coastline, San Mateo County expects to see its share of unusual items.
“Volunteers always record the items they least expected to find while cleaning the beaches and creeks. They pull an amazing array of things from the sand and the mud, from office furniture to a phone booth. But most of the litter comes from everyday upstream sources – homes and businesses, parking lots and uncovered truck loads – rather than from a tragic event thousands of miles across the ocean,” notes Matt Fabry, coordinator of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program.
The challenges posed by everyday litter – cigarette butts, plastic bags, food wrappers – are daunting enough. Watershed groups and other environmentally-minded organizations hold cleanups around the County throughout the year, working to keep litter from reaching the Bay and ocean. Local cities work diligently as well, picking up parks and cleaning out storm drains, attempting to meet Federal water quality permit requirements. Coastal Cleanup adds a unique element, bringing the most County residents out on one day and collecting a data ‘snapshot’ of the problem.
Last year, more than 4,000 volunteers collected more than 25,000 pounds of trash and recyclables at over 30 sites around the County in the event’s short time window of 9 a.m. to noon.
To find all of this year’s sites, along with tips for safe and waste-free participation, visit www.flowstobay.org/ccd
For more information, contact Timothy Swillinger at 650-372-6245 or email@example.com