First-Ever Coastal Cleanup Month to Gather Community Members to Clean Up Orange County
- Saturdays in September will feature a large-scale California coastal cleanup
- Orange County Coastkeeper encourages self-guided cleanups near home to combat beach pollution
- Participants can enter to win Coastal Cleanup scavenger hunt prizes on social media
In September, Orange County residents’ efforts to protect California’s coast will begin in their own neighborhoods. This year, the California Coastal Commission’s 36th Annual California Coastal Cleanup is transforming from a cleanup day to a cleanup month – taking place throughout the entire month of September, with an emphasis on each Saturday of the month.
Orange County Coastkeeper encourages community members to clean the coast by sweeping through their own neighborhoods and local parks, creeks, streams, rivers, and the coast (where accessible) to help prevent single-use plastic items and other litter from polluting the environment and flowing into the ocean.
Orange County beaches and waterways collect trash that travels from inland communities via the county’s rivers and storm drains. Beach cleanups stand as a last line of defense to prevent this debris from polluting the ocean and its wildlife.
Last year, more than 4,900 volunteers headed to cleanup sites across Orange County to join the fight against ocean pollution during Coastal Cleanup Day. Orange County Coastkeeper coordinated 22 cleanup sites in Orange County, where volunteers removed more than 25,000 pounds of trash from beaches, parks, and wetlands. This year, Coastkeeper hopes community members will feel empowered to remove even more trash from their local waterways to preserve and protect our coast.
“We love getting our volunteers together for this massive effort to prevent waste from ending up in our oceans each year, and we are confident that many more people will be able to participate in the cleanup from their own neighborhoods,” said Garry Brown, Orange County Coastkeeper founder and president. “Even from our homes we can have an impact on the health of our coastal environments – we all must do our part to preserve them.”
CALIFORNIA COASTAL CLEANUP DAY
California Coastal Cleanup Day, organized by the California Coastal Commission, is an annual, statewide event that attracts thousands of volunteers to keep beaches across California clean, beautiful, and thriving.
Californians continue to show they care deeply about the environment by supporting the cleanup year after year. Over 1.6 million volunteers have removed over 26 million pounds of trash over the past three decades in what has become the largest and one of the longest-running annual volunteer events in the state. Last year alone, over 74,000 volunteers cleared more than 800,000 pounds of trash from shorelines and waterways – all in a matter of hours.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Coastkeeper will host a weekly scavenger hunt contest to encourage Orange County residents to participate in the cleanup. Participants can win prizes, like Coastal Cleanup Day t-shirts and postcards, by finding specific trash items during the cleanup, taking a photo of the items, and uploading it to social media each Saturday of the month.
To enter the prize drawing, participants must caption their public social media posts with the #CoastkeeperClean, #ProtectYourHappyPlace, and #CoastalCleanupDay hashtags. Those with a private profile can email their entries to [email protected]. Entries must be received by each Saturday in September and winners will be announced the following Monday.
To find out how to join the effort, please visit the Coastkeeper’s Coastal Cleanup Day page. Volunteers are asked to download and use the Clean Swell data collection app in order to record their finds and be counted towards the volunteer and trash totals or to fill out and submit a paper data card, available in both English and Spanish.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Coastal Cleanup organizers, including Orange County Coastkeeper, across the state recognized that hosting traditional cleanup “sites” with large gatherings of volunteers would not be safe this year. However, Californians can honor the spirit and intention of the cleanup while staying close to home and following public health guidelines. Cleaning neighborhoods and local natural areas provide a valuable service to the coast and our communities alike.
- Orange County Coastkeeper
- California Coastal Commission
- County of Orange
- Moulton Niguel Water District
- Irvine Ranch Water District
- Interviews available: For interviews with Orange County Coastkeeper’s team, contact: Hector Zermeño, [email protected], 619-732-0789 x432
- Link to use in your story:
ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER
Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 241 different independent programs across 40 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit www.coastkeeper.org or call us at 714-850-1965.