On September 17, thousands of Orange County residents will head to sites across the county to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day, a statewide event in conjunction with the world’s largest trash pickup. Registration is now open for all 47-cleanup sites in Orange County, organized by Orange County Coastkeeper and Trails4All.
Orange County beaches collect trash that travels from inland communities via the county’s rivers and storm drains. Beach cleanups stand as a last line of defense to prevent this debris from polluting the ocean and its wildlife. Orange County’s cleanup sites are included in California Coastal Cleanup Day, which encourages volunteers to leave the Golden State’s beaches sparkling. This statewide event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer event on the planet.
“Volunteers for Coastal Cleanup Day have a light bulb moment about their personal impact on water pollution,” says Julia Williams, Orange County Coastkeeper’s cleanup director. “Seeing items that you throw away each day lying on the sand helps make the connection between everyday habits and the health of our waters.”
Last year, nearly 7,000 Orange County volunteers collected more than 42,000 pounds of trash and recyclable materials during the three-hour event. Some of the most obscure findings included VHS tapes, a voodoo doll and a Frisbee with a “Recycle or DIE!” sticker. For this year’s cleanup, the Ocean Conservancy launched an app called Clean Swell that volunteers will use to collect data on the types and amount of trash picked up at each site. Volunteers are encouraged to download the app prior to the event.
For the first time, Coastkeeper and the California State Parks will host a post-cleanup celebration at Huntington State Beach. The event will feature educational games and activities, sponsor booths, prizes and food trucks from Ruby’s Diner, Piaggio on Wheels, Kona Ice and Crepes Bonaparte. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Coastkeeper and to Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches to support environmental education efforts.
Attendance is free and supplies will be provided. However, Coastkeeper aspires to accomplish a zero-waste event and asks that volunteers bring their own cleanup supplies including a bucket or reusable bag, gloves and reusable water bottle. In addition to volunteering, residents and businesses can support Coastal Cleanup Day with donations and sponsorships.
This event is made possible by Supporting Sponsor Messiah Lutheran Church along with Blue Water Sponsors Earth Friendly Products and The City of Dana Point. In-Kind Sponsors include Whole Foods Market, KIND Bars, The Municipal Water District of Orange County and Davey’s Locker.
This article was released by Orange County Coastkeeper.