Results for California Coastal Clean Up Day


By on Sun, September 20, 2009

I would like to thank each and every volunteer that gave up their Saturday morning to come and help clean our coastline for the 25th California Coastal Clean Up day. Over 50 volunteers turned up at Montara State Beach to help out, including a large enthusiastic crowd from Sunset Magazine. We had people travel from far and wide including one couple who drove from Reno and another man from Palo Alto.

So far with just 65% of the cleanup sites results in, the statewide count stands at 66,550 volunteers, which should approach the event goal of 70,000 volunteers. Those volunteers picked up 819,394 pounds of trash and an additional 89,899 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 909,294 pounds. As occurs every year, some unusual items were found throughout California. The Winners of the 2009 Most Unusual Item contest are: Coastal California: A volunteer in Marin found 10 single shoes, none of which matched. Inland California: A volunteer along a creek in Yolo County found a grand piano! At Montara Beach a deal seal was found with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head, very disturbing.

The Coastal Commission expects to exceed 1,000,000 pounds of trash when all the totals are in. Here is a short list of the most common items found at Montara Beach and Grey Whale Cove: 78 Plastic bottles, 108 Glass bottles, 102 Soda cans, 99 Bottle caps, 24 shoes, 14 Condoms, 96 Plastic straws, 300 nails, +1000 Styrofoam pieces, 295 Plastic knives/forks/spoons and +1500 cigarette butts (too many to collect).

Past Coastal Cleanup Day data tell us that most (between 60-80 percent) of the debris on our beaches and shorelines comes from inland sources, traveling through storm drains or creeks out to the beaches and ocean. Rain—or even something as simple as hosing down a sidewalk—can wash cigarette butts, bits of styrofoam, pesticides, and oil into the storm drains and out to the ocean. The California Coastal Commission is asking all Californians to take responsibility for making sure trash goes where it belongs—securely in a trashcan, recycling bin, or a hazardous waste dump when appropriate.