Heal the Bay today sent out a call for thousands of volunteers to help remove trash along Los Angeles County beaches and inland waterways as part of the 26th annual Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sept. 19.
Local residents will mobilize from 9 a.m. to noon at more than 50 cleanup sites, from Compton to Malibu. More than 10,000 volunteers will canvass beaches, parks, creeks, lakes, highways and alleys to remove ocean-bound trash and beautify local neighborhoods.
Coastal Cleanup Day participants have collected more than 1 million pounds of trash in Los Angeles County since 1990’s inaugural event, equaling roughly the weight of a fully loaded Boeing 747 jumbo jet. By removing debris from beaches and inland neighborhoods, volunteers reduce blight, protect marine animals and bolster the regional economy.
Linking with similar rehabilitation efforts around the globe, Coastal Cleanup Day participants can take satisfaction in joining the world’s biggest single-day volunteer event. Attendees will receive hands-on education about the easy steps they can take throughout the year to keep local watersheds clean and build community pride.
Heal the Bay seeks volunteers of all ages and physical abilities. No special equipment or experience is necessary. Site captains will organize volunteers from a diverse mix of individuals, families, neighborhoods, community groups, schools, faith-based groups, sports teams and businesses.
For registration information and cleanup tips, visit www.healthebay.org/ccd.
Inland locations in need of special attention this year are Ballona Creek, the Los Angeles River/Arroyo Seco confluence and Encino’s Sepulveda Basin. 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.
In all, 50 sites have been confirmed this year. There will be SCUBA dive sites in Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and Malibu, and a kayak effort in Marina Del Rey. The Bay Foundation will also be leading volunteers on a special dune restoration at the bluffs above Dockweiler Beach. A Google map of all cleanup sites can be found here.
As a further enticement, participants will be given a voucher for free sustainable seafood tacos at any Rubio’s restaurant while extensive supplies last. And to protect volunteers, Cancer Treatment Centers of America will be distributing free tubes of sunscreen at all sites. Heal the Bay will be hosting a number of community-building activities as well during the day, including a sand castle building contest near the Santa Monica Pier led by the region’s top design and architectural firms.
“Heal the Bay was founded on the belief that one person can make a world of difference,” said Alys Arenas, beach programs manager for Heal the Bay, which organizes Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County. “So it’s gratifying to see so many people come out each year to protect what they love.”
Participants are encouraged to bring their own bucket or reusable bag and gloves from home this year to collect debris. The “BYO” campaign hopes to reduce the waste created by the distribution of single-use disposable clean-up supplies.