As outdoor activities ramp up this summer, the region’s beaches will begin to fill up with enthusiastic beachgoers that want to enjoy the fresh ambience California has to offer. But before you hit the waves, take a moment to look around you and see the human impact of trash on our beaches. If you’re looking for activities or ways to contribute to your community, there are many ways you can get involved to help keep our beaches clean and healthy.
With the easing of pandemic restrictions, we’re bringing back our community and corporate cleanups in Orange County. If you’d like to keep our beaches clean at your own time, you can also take a walk around your local beach or neighborhood and clean any litter or trash you find. Remember: the beach begins at your back door with your local watershed.
Every effort counts, and while not all of us can participate in public cleanup events, we can all make an impact on the health of our oceans and beaches. Here are some tips on how you can make an impact in keeping California’s coast and beaches pristine.
- Be safe during a beach cleanup:
Before heading to your local beach and cleaning up trash, safety should be first above all. Be sure to be prepared with gloves, sturdy bags, sunglasses and reef-safe sunscreen, or even a grabber tool if you have one at hand. If you find hazardous or sharp items, alert a lifeguard so they can help safely dispose of the objects.
- Be conscious of the plastic you’re taking on your trip to your local beach:
It’s important to clean up after ourselves, and it’s essential to be mindful of the waste we’re contributing to our environment. According to a National Geographic article, around 8 million tons of plastic get into our oceans every year. An easy way to start is by switching from a single use plastic bottle to a reusable water bottle. You can even take the “Plastic Free July” challenge and try to eliminate single use plastics from your next beach trip entirely! Choosing to use reusable utensils, compostable food packaging, and reusing plastic food containers is a great place to start!
- Donate to a cleanup program:
Donating to a local nonprofit organization, like Orange County Coastkeeper, that works to keep our waterways clean is a great way to help in your own community if you’re not able to get out directly. Donations that are received for Coastkeeper’s Cleanup OC program go to providing cleanup supplies and supporting event staff that are devoted to protecting our local beaches.
In 2020, our OC cleanup socially-distance events gathered 575 volunteers and removed 1,189 pounds of trash. To make sure our beaches are even cleaner and healthier, Coastkeeper wants #WaterWarriors like yourself help protect and restore the environment we call home. Grab your reef-safe sunscreen, reusable water bottle and reusable bag, and get to the beach!
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