Thousands of volunteers in the Southland and across the state will be heading to the beach Saturday, not for a day of sun and swimming, but to pick up trash and clear the shoreline of debris as part of the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.
Debris-collection events will be held at beaches across the California Coast. According to the California Coastal Commission, more than 700 organized cleanups are planned statewide in what is billed as the world's largest single-day volunteer event.
Cleanups will also take place at rivers, creeks, parks, roadways, highways and bays.
"For generations, Californians have demonstrated their love and dedication to our coast during Coastal Cleanup Day," Coastal Commission Executive Director Kate Huckelbridge said in a statement. "The Coastal Commission is incredibly proud to provide an outlet for all Californians to express that dedication each year. We see how devoting only a few hours on a Saturday in September translates into a year-round commitment to the protection and preservation of our coast. We are grateful to all who share in this goal."
Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay will oversee more than 50 individual cleanups. According to the group, last year's event saw nearly 4,600 volunteers fan out across Los Angeles County, removing nearly 11,300 pounds of trash and 313 pounds of recyclables from watersheds, neighborhoods and coastlines.
The group noted on its website that the region's particularly wet winter makes this year's cleanup event even more important.
"While this past deluge of winter rain has brought relief to our parched region after years of drought, it also brings concern for water quality as rain water makes its way through the city bringing pollutants and trash to our waterways and beaches," according to Heal the Bay. "Healthy rivers and coasts are the keys to a healthy planet from summit to sea. This year we are focusing on helping volunteers create cleanup sites wherever `healers' see the need, not just on the shore. Trash from inland areas flows downstream to the coast, so cleaning up neighborhood trash prevents marine debris."
Cleanup events are planned from 9 a.m. to noon. Details are available online at www.coastalcleanupday.org or at Healthebay.org.
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