SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Coastal Cleanup Day for 2022 will take place Saturday when volunteers fan out on beach areas and creeks to pick up trash and other discarded items.
Explore Ecology said that Coastal Cleanup Day, a day to give back to the ocean, beaches, and creeks, is the largest volunteer effort in California.
Volunteers of all ages can participate at any of the 2022 cleanup sites. Pre-registration is not required, but is encouraged.
Each site will have a captain on hand to provide necessary instructions and supplies. You can bring your own gloves, buckets, and other reusable cleanup supplies to lessen the plastic footprint of this event.
"As we know liter on the ground washes into the creeks and that flows to the ocean," said Jill Cloutier with Explore Ecology.
For Saturday's Coastal Cleanup Day, creeks will be one area with focused teams, including a section of Mission Creek at Oak Park.
Margie Bushman is a site leader at Oak Park. "We see bottles but to tell you the truth that's the easier thing to clean up and of course we want people to make sure those bottles don't end up there either but that little tiny plastic and little tiny candy wrappers we hope people don't let it get over here this far."
The trash left behind today can be a problem another day. "We don't have a lot of rain. but that can actually be a problem because when trash builds up 0ver a long period of time it all gets flushed out at once and can make our harbor and ocean really really polluted," said Explore Ecology's Veronica Lee.
The cleanup locations this year will be widespread. Cloutier said, "there's over 30 sites this year. Your favorite beach is probably on the list."
Organizers say it helps to bring your own gloves, bags and pickers and be ready to cover some ground.The united effort of volunteers has a strong track record of success.
Cloutier said, "last year we picked up over 6000 pounds of liter in Santa Barbara and the state of California picked up over 900,000 pounds of liter, so there's power in numbers."
At the beaches there were many common items that were caught before they got in to the ocean. "I saw a lot of bottles and a lot of little pieces of micro plastics and those are really dangerous," said Lee.
Coastal Cleanup Day is a joint effort by Explore Ecology and our partner the County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery and Waste Management, with support from Project Clean Water and the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Solvang.
The California Coastal Commission organizes the statewide event and the international event is organized by the Ocean Conservancy.
For more information go to: Explore Ecology