The California Coastal Commission’s 28th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day – the state’s largest volunteer event– will take place on Saturday, September 15th at over 850 locations statewide.
Long regarded as a premier direct watershed stewardship action event, Californians young and old will have another to demonstrate the real-life link between taking care of our waterways on Coastal Cleanup Day and year-round efforts of coastal protection.
Senate Resolution 84, introduced earlier this year by Senator Christine Kehoe from San Diego, was passed by the state legislature to designate the week of September 8th through the 15th as California Coastal Protection Week.
The resolution also permanently establishes the second week of September as California Coastal Protection Week in the future. Since California Coastal Cleanup Day always falls on the 3rd Saturday of September, California Coastal Protection Week will culminate with the event.
The Coastal Cleanup Day program recognizes Californians’ intense feelings about protecting their coast and inland waterways, and celebrates the volunteers’ demonstration of their commitment to caring for our shared environment each year at the Cleanup event.
This commitment extends from the ocean beaches inland, to hundreds of cleanup locations along creeks, rivers, and lakes– basically to the shores of all waterways where trash accumulates. This is a critical stewardship action, because once trash enters our waterways, it can flow quickly and easily out to the coast and ocean.
Estimates show that up to 80 percent of the trash along the California coast comes from inland or land-based regions. As the population of California grows, it becomes increasingly important to clean up trash at its source – to stop it where it starts – if we are to better protect the health and beauty of the coast.
Event County Coordinator Marianne Butler is excited about this year’s Cleanup efforts. She says, “Along with picking up trash, we want to educate everyone about what actually happens to the litter we find in our creeks and waterways.
The Cleanup is a fantastic event, bringing out thousands of hardworking volunteers every year; but effective stewardship is a year-round thing.
Through environmental education programs, we educate thousands of students in our school programs. These kids take the information home to share with and educate their parents. Every year, we want to involve more people, and spread the Cleanup message further. ”
Butler’s face take on a determined look as she adds, “If we could just get everyone to take care of their own waste, volunteers could work on more proactive stewardship projects, instead of cleaning up messes…”
Narcisa Untal, Integrated Waste Management Planner for the Solano County Department of Resource Management says “Marianne and the city coordinators from all over Solano County are hoping this will be our largest Coastal Cleanup turn out ever and that participants will help further the day’s waste reduction efforts by bringing their own reusable pair of work gloves, water bottle and/or bucket to their work site. But, if you can’t do this, please come anyway, disposable supplies will be available.”
It’s not too late to join this year’s event! Volunteers who would like to participate in California Coastal Cleanup Day should visit Recycle.SolanoCounty.com to find their local coordinator. There will be 55 sites spread throughout every corner of the County. More information on the event is available from Marianne Butler, who can be reached at 707.301.5778.