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Beyond the Beach: California Coastal Cleanup Expands Statewide Through September

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Some major changes are coming to the biggest outdoor cleanup in the state: Coastal Cleanup Day.

The California Coastal Commission is giving it a new place and a new time in this new world of COVID-19. For starters, it's not just confined to the coast but will extend across the state. Also, it will take place every Saturday in the month of September.

"Given the current circumstances, we decided organizing CCD as we did in the past wasn't safe for our volunteers or organizers," said Eben Schwartz, with the California Coastal Commission.

Instead, they're encouraging everyone to go out in their own communities and pick up trash. The entire state is urged to take part, even inland, because creeks and storm drains all lead somewhere.

"Cleaning the coast really starts at our own front doors," Schwartz said, "trash that's on our streets is going to be the trash that's on our coast once the rains come."

Volunteers can download an app called Clean Swell. It's a map-based database that shows where people are cleaning up and what they collect. This year offers a unique opportunity to do more than clean up. It's also an opportunity to teach people what a watershed is and how what we do all over the state affects our coastline.

"I would encourage people to think about storm drains and gutters and how trash travels in this state," Schwartz said. "It's not stationary and that will help people understand the impact they can have no matter where they live."

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