Local environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay has issued a call for Los Angeles County residents and visitors to join the world’s largest volunteer event – the 34th International Coastal Cleanup Day, to be held Saturday, Sept. 15.

Heal the Bay plans to host more than 10,000 people at 70 coastal, inland, L.A. River and underwater sites from 9 a.m. to Noon.

Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” event ever, Coastal Cleanup Day mobilizes Angelenos throughout the region to pick up trash and debris while exploring the environment and enjoying the outdoors.

Last year, Heal the Bay organized 10,200 volunteers at 61 cleanup sites and removed 11.5 tons of trash from Los Angeles County during Coastal Cleanup Day.  In total, 106 countries – and 43 U.S. states – removed 20.4 million pounds of debris during Coastal Cleanup Day’s three-hour timespan.

Data from the annual Coastal Cleanup Day event points at single-use plastic pollution as a major local and global issue. Cigarette butts, plastic food wrappers, and plastic beverage bottles/caps remain the top items found by Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers.  Other common items include plastic bags, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic take-out containers, plastic lids, and foam take-out containers.

In addition to learning about the importance of policies that reduce single-use plastic distribution in our communities, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers will also see first-hand the multi-benefits of nature-based stormwater capture and habitat restoration.

Nearly 80 percent of pollution in our marine environment comes from the land.  Runoff from more than 200,000 storm drains on L.A. streets flows out to the Pacific Ocean causing the majority of local ocean pollution.  By removing tons of pollution from inland neighborhoods, in addition to beaches and waterways, cleanup participants reduce blight, protect marine animals and boost the regional economy.

To register for Coastal Cleanup Day, visit healthebay.org/ccd

Since 1990, Heal the Bay has been the official coordinator of International Coastal Cleanup Day in L.A. County in partnership with the California Coastal Commission.

Heal the Bay seeks volunteers of all ages and physical abilities to participate; no training or experience is necessary.  Heal the Bay Site Captains will organize a diverse mix of individuals, families, neighborhoods, community groups, schools, faith-based groups, sports teams, and businesses.  Organizers encourage volunteers to “BYO”– bring their own buckets, reusable bags, and gloves to pick up trash.

Sites Participating in Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day 2018

Inland sites include Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Ballona Creek Bike Path, L.A. River, Lake Balboa, Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, Madea Creek, Avalon Gardens, Arroyo Seco, Compton Creek, Elysian Valley Gateway Park, Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, Koreatown, Pacoima, and Hyde Park Boulevard.

Coastal sites include Hermosa Beach, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes peninsula, Playa del Rey, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Torrance, Topanga, and Venice.

Habitat restoration sites include the LAX Dunes and the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, Alta Vicente Reserve; Medea Creek, and Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.

Underwater sites include Malibu Pier, Leo Carrillo State Beach, Redondo County Beach, Dockweiler State Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier.

Submitted by Jacquie McLean Jones