Bringing the community together for 15 years, California Coastal Cleanup Day will fall on Saturday, Sept. 17 this year. The cleanup includes more than 50 coastal areas in Solano County alone, with more than a dozen of them falling in the Fairfield-Suisun area.
“We started in 1996 with, then, over 400 volunteers,” said Marianne Butler, countywide coordinator of the event. “As of last year we almost had 3,000. Our goal for 2011 is to get over 3,000 people from the county coming out to help.”
The California Coastal Commission set up Coastal Cleanup Day in 1985 as a way to reduce the amount of plastic debris found on California Coasts. The idea was expanded in 1990 to include inland areas as a way to help reduce debris and capture it at its source. According to a press release for the event, most marine debris found on beaches starts as urban trash or street litter carried by local waterways.
Volunteers helped collect 565,682 pounds of trash and 76,581 pounds of recyclables countywide to date, since Coastal Cleanup Day began. Solano County managed to collect 28,714 pounds of trash and 4,384 pounds of recyclables last year alone.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to bring the com together,” said Butler. “And it kind of empowers people to make conn between removing litter and water shedhouse. So there’s links that their making and it gives them the opportunity to take responsibility for the environment in their own personal way.
Locations of the cleanups include Lake Solano Park, Sandy Beach Park, and Belden’s Landing. The collection day is being called a “zero-waste event,” adopted by the county’s Climate Action Plan as a part of a statewide goal to “encourage Californians to re-think garbage. In trying to be consistent with the plan, participants are asked to bring in their own bucket, gloves and a reusuable water bottle.
For more information on California Coastal Cleanup Day, and to sign up as a volunteer, visit the website.