More than 11,000 Angelenos remove 24,000 pounds of trash countywide
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Southland volunteers took advantage of the last day of summer to protect their favorite outdoor spots across Los Angeles County. Angelenos collected and removed more than 24,000 pounds of ocean-bound trash over 32 miles today as part of Heal the Bay’s 24th annual Coastal Cleanup Day.
Working together to protect what they love, more than 11,000 participants scoured local beaches, inland waterways, regional parks and city neighborhoods from 9 a.m. to noon. Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay mobilized 50 sites throughout the county.
From the fragile habitats of the Ballona Wetlands to the concrete alleys of South Los Angeles, local businesses, scout troops, faith-based organizations and school groups worked in tandem to gather and remove cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, snack-food packaging, plastic bags and Styrofoam items.
This year’s unsolved mystery is the origin of the five clay statues of the Hindu god Ganesha found throughout California, including a pair found near the Malibu Pier at Surfrider beach.
More unusual objects uncovered at today’s cleanups across L.A. County include: a beekeeper comb box (El Matador), a 35-pound car battery (Abalone Cove in Palos Verdes), a chaise lounge (Cabrillo State Beach in San Pedro), 120 pounds of carpeting (Dockweiler Beach), a remote surveillance video camera (Ken Malloy Park), an automobile fuel gauge (Leo Carrillo State Park) and a Bat Ray skeleton (Malibu Pier).
A “No Swimming, Polluted Water” sign discovered underwater by SCUBA divers at Surfrider is the most ironic found item. The grossest item is a urine sample cup at Will Rogers Beach, while glow-in-the dark vampire teeth found in the Ballona Wetlands is the most Halloween-y.
Urban runoff from more than 200 storm drains flowing out to Santa Monica and San Pedro bays causes the vast majority of local ocean pollution. By removing tons of trash from beaches and inland neighborhoods, cleanup participants enhance quality of life, protect marine animals and bolster the regional economy.
“Code Red” locations in need of special attention this year included Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park and Compton Creek. These urban sites drain runoff from huge swaths of Los Angeles County and are overwhelmed by such litter as plastic bags and fast-food packaging.
SCUBA dive teams canvassed under the Santa Monica, Malibu and Redondo Beach piers and off Long Beach, while a flotilla of kayakers removed trash from Marina del Rey.
“Thank you, Los Angeles for achieving another safe and successful Coastal Cleanup Day!” said Eveline Bravo, Heal the Bay’s beach programs manager. “I am so grateful to the thousands of volunteers who came out to support the places they love as volunteers make this entire event happen with their time and hard work.”
Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day campaigns have captured a cumulative 1.6 million pounds of trash since 1990.
As of Saturday, September 21, the reported 24,000 pounds of trash found does not include bulky items that the city of Los Angeles will collect and weigh.
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 event led by the Ocean Conservancy that encompasses more than half a million volunteers in nearly 100 countries and all states in the U.S. The day has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s biggest 24-hour volunteer event.
This year’s sponsors include Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Mattel, Union Bank of California, Ralphs, LandShark Lager and the City of Santa Monica. Chipotle and KIND bars also supported our volunteers with donated items.
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.