Coastal Cleanup Day 2015 – A Huge Success!

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State's largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2014, nearly 67,000 volunteers removed more than 1,190,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California's fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

image1

California Coastal Cleanup Day was first organized in 1985 by the California Coastal Commission, but the idea of a community-based cleanup event did not come from California. The year before, Oregon resident Judie Neilson had grown concerned over the amount of plastic debris she saw littering the Oregon coast. In October of 1984, Judie organized the first Coastal Cleanup Day, turning out over 2,800 volunteers to the beaches of Oregon. California watched, admired, and the next year, emulated Judie’s efforts with its first statewide Coastal Cleanup Day.

image2

Close to 2,500 Californians joined in the initial Cleanup, and the program has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. In 1986, The Ocean Conservancy (then known as the Center for Marine Conservation) ran its first Coastal Cleanup in Texas, and in later years became the coordinating agency for the International Coastal Cleanup, helping to spread the concept to nations around the world.

In 1993, California Coastal Cleanup Day was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, with 50,405 volunteers. Since then, the reach of Coastal Cleanup Day has steadily spread inland. Most of the marine debris that we find on our beaches actually starts as urban trash or street litter, so this continuing effort to “stop trash where it starts” has actually increased the amount of trash picked up per person each year. (See Figures below)

Coastal Cleanup Day is about much more than picking up trash. It’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing their respect for our oceans and waterways. It’s an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its desire for clean water and healthy marine life. And it’s a moment to share with one’s neighbors, family, and friends, coming together to accomplish something vital and worthy on behalf of our environment.   image3

TOP TEN 1989-2014 COUNT PERCENTAGE

#1. Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters 6,992,106 37.76%

#2. Food Wrappers/Containers 1,940,013 10.48%

#3. Caps/Lids 1,619,071 8.74%

#4. Bags (paper and plastic) 1,462,726 7.90%

#5. Cups/Plates/Utensils 1,014,229 5.48%

#6. Straws/Stirrers 736,595 3.98%

#7. Glass Beverage Bottles 600,871 3.24%

#8. Plastic Beverage Bottles 475,799 2.57%

#9. Beverage Cans 455,433 2.46%

#10. Construction Material 330,711 1.79%

We at SABP Reprographics are proud to support this meaningful event!