California Coastal Commission release annual Beach Cleanup results

The California Coastal Commission held the 38th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, Sept. 17. Organized by the Ocean Conservancy, the cleanup brings awareness to the marine litter problem and provides a community event for direct involvement. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Tens of thousands of Californians turned out to take part in the 38th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, Sept. 17, the state’s largest annual volunteer event, organized by the California Coastal Commission. For the past two years the event was limited to self-guided cleanups because of the pandemic, but this year’s cleanup saw more than 600 in-person cleanup sites taking place throughout the state – a return to near full capacity. 

With 60 percent of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stands at 27,185 volunteers. Those volunteers picked up 220,861 pounds of trash and an additional 29,702 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 250,563 pounds or 125 tons.

“We were amazed by the response to the call for self-guided cleanups over these past two years. But it’s not surprising – Californians cherish their coast and want to take care of it,” Commission’s Executive Director Jack Ainsworth said in a press release. “Even so, we are so pleased about returning to in-person cleanups. These events really do more than help us capture huge amounts of trash before it enters the ocean. Coastal Cleanup Day brings us together to celebrate our precious waterways and coastal resources as a community.”