66,000 Volunteers for Coastal Cleanup Day in California!

More than 66,000 people picked up cans, bottles and other trash along California’s beaches, rivers and lakes during this year’s annual Coastal Cleanup. And they also picked up the pace of public participation in the state’s largest volunteer event, ending three years in a row of declining turnout.

The final numbers from the Sept. 20 event, released this past week, show that 1,129,332 pounds of debris were collected statewide this year — an increase of 51 percent from last year.

And the 66,292 people who joined in the cleanup effort to haul in all that trash surpassed last year, when 58,158 volunteers turned out for the Saturday morning event.

“We had a big jump in participation, which we were really pleased to see,” said Eben Schwartz, marine debris manager for the California Coastal Commission, which organizes the cleanup every year. “We had been on sort of a downward trend for a few years. This is our one chance every year to bring people from across the state out to celebrate this great event, and we want as many people as possible to participate.”

Volunteers in 54 of California’s 58 counties participated, including in all 15 coastal counties. The counties with no volunteers were mostly in the rural northern part of the state: Glenn, Trinity and Tehama. In the south, Tulare County didn’t participate. Read full article.