Heal the Bay calls for Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers throughout L.A.
Environmental group Heal the Bay today challenged Angelenos to join the world’s largest single-day volunteer event – the 24th annual Coastal Cleanup Day to be held Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m.-noon.
Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, the annual Coastal Cleanup Day provides Southern California residents with the chance to beautify their neighborhood, local waters or beach. It’s also a chance to band together and enjoy the outdoors.
Since 1990, Heal the Bay has mobilized hundreds of thousands of volunteers for Los Angeles County’s Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD), offering environmentally concerned citizens of all ages a chance to do something tangible to improve their communities. This year’s effort will feature volunteers walking, kayaking, paddleboarding and SCUBA diving to remove debris from local beaches, rivers, parks, school campuses and streets.
Approximately 50 coastal and inland cleanup sites will be managed, spanning close to 1,500 square miles. No special training or equipment is necessary. However, Heal the Bay encourages volunteers to go Zero Waste and bring their own buckets, reusable bags and gloves to pick up trash.
As part of a global effort, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers around the world last year collected 2 million cigarette butts, enough to fill approximately 94,000 packs of cigarettes, according to the Ocean Conservancy, which spearheads CCD worldwide each year. Cigarettes persist as the No. 1 debris item found by volunteers on Coastal Cleanup Day. For the past 27 years, CCD volunteers have found 57 million cigarette butts, which if stacked vertically would be as tall as 3,867 Empire State Buildings.
In Los Angeles last year, more than 9,000 volunteers kept nearly 20 tons of debris from heading to the ocean. Trash endangers the health of humans, wildlife and coastal economies. Just by joining the effort once a year, anyone can make a big impact on the health of the local environment.
This year’s Coastal Cleanup Day highlights include a standup paddleboard clinic from 11a.m.- 2 p.m. and dory race at the Santa Monica Pier scheduled to begin at noon after the cleanup, sponsored by LandShark Lager. Cleanup participants will also be eligible for giveaways of customized standup paddleboards and other items, as well as drink and food specials at Rusty’s on the Pier.
The first 100 volunteers at City of Los Angeles sites will receive a free reusable bag to help prepare for the single use bag ban that goes into effect this winter.
Also at the Santa Monica Pier (Tower 1550), Naam Yoga will organize a human peace circle at 8:30 a.m. before the cleanup begins at 9 a.m.
SCUBA-certified divers will get a chance to clear underwater debris at dive sites at Leo Carrillo State Beach, Redondo Beach and the Long Beach/Belmont, Santa Monica and Malibu piers. Kayakers are welcome to join the Santa Monica Bay Restoration for a kayak cleanup in Marina del Rey, with registration required.
In addition there will be “Code Red” cleanup sites this year at Compton Creek and Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park. Huge swaths of Los Angeles County drain to these highly urbanized sites, which are swamped with tons of harmful trash and debris, such as plastic bags. Volunteers can make a huge impact at these locations.
Heal the Bay seeks volunteers of all ages and physical abilities; no experience necessary. Site captains will organize a diverse mix of individuals, families, neighborhoods, community groups, schools, faith-based groups, sports teams and businesses. To sign up, please visit http://ccd2013.eventbrite.com/
Southern Californians who want to join Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day efforts, can create a fundraising page so friends and family can support the effort to protect our local natural resources. Volunteers who raise $100 or more receive a Heal the Bay T-shirt.
About Coastal Cleanup Day Heal the Bay organizes Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County in partnership with the California Coastal Commission. The L.A. campaign is part of a global international event led by the Ocean Conservancy. Last year in California, 62, 668 volunteers removed 728, 289 pounds of trash and 143, 291 pounds of recyclable waste.
This year’s sponsors include Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Mattel, Union Bank of California, LandShark Lager, Ralphs and the City of Santa Monica.
About Heal the Bay Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.