Surf’s Up for California Coastal Cleanup Day


Volunteers at Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is always a watershed event here in the Golden Gate National Parks. The reason? You! Our dedicated community of enthusiastic volunteers, motivated site captains, and generous sponsors is what makes this annual event such an incredible success every year.

Last year was no exception. In 2012, in San Francisco alone, 2,500 volunteers collected over 18,000 pounds of debris—from our shorelines, local parks, neighborhoods, and the Golden Gate National Parks.

At 20 cleanup sites within the Golden Gate National Parks—across Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties—thousands of volunteers scoured our spectacular coastline to keep our parklands pristine and healthy.

Statewide, over 65,000 volunteers removed almost 770,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways.

Remember those data cards that you fill out every year? Well, that data has indicated that about 80% of the debris on our beaches and shorelines comes from inland sources, traveling through storm drains and other waterways to the beaches and ocean.

Rain—or even something as simple as hosing down a sidewalk—can wash cigarette butts, bits of Styrofoam, pesticides, and oil into the storm drains and out to the ocean. In fact, the top 10 items we traditionally collected along the San Francisco coastline include:

  1. Cigarettes (#1 by a land slide)
  2. Food Containers
  3. Plastic Bags
  4. Caps/Lids
  5. Cups/Plates/Forks/Knives/Spoons
  6. Paper Bags
  7. Glass Bottles
  8. Straws/Stirrers
  9. Cigar Tips
  10. Plastic Bottles

With just a little effort, we can dispose of these properly before they become litter. In addition to helping on Coastal Cleanup Day, we can each pitch in everyday to be part of the solution!

Now it’s time to get ready for the 2013 California Coastal Cleanup Day! Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 21, 9 am-Noon.

  • Pick a Cleanup Site & Register: Visit our website and choose from inland and coastal sites throughout the Golden Gate National Parks and beyond.
  • Gear Up: Start pulling together your BYO supplies (Bring Your Own)—reusable gloves, buckets, bags, litter picking tools, water bottles, etc.—and help us make this the most waste-free and sustainable cleanup yet. Recology also will be helping us reach our goal again this year by providing dumpsters or curbside carts, sorting our debris, and diverting 50% of the collected waste from landfill!
  • Learn More: Check out California Coastal Commission’s website and read up on the statewide event, why these cleanups are so important, and what you can do throughout the year.
  • Spread the Word: Rally your friends and family!
  • Show up and clean up on 9/21!

Let's make trash extinct!

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