Coastal cleanup kicks off on Saturday

BAY AREA (BCN) —   Tens of thousands of volunteers are expected to gather along the state’s beaches, shorelines and inland waterways tofay, for the 31st Annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

Put on by the California Coastal Commission, the yearly event aims to remove debris, garbage and recyclables that have accumulated in and near waterways at over 850 locations throughout the state.

The event is part of an effort to raise public awareness of marine and coastal resources and promote coastal stewardship, according to event organizers.

“With more than 18 million pounds of plastic entering the world’s oceans every year, the need for this event is greater than ever,” commission chair Steve Kinsey said.

Last year, around 66,000 volunteers gathered across the state to pick up an estimated 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables, event organizers said.

In the Bay Area, volunteers can choose from multiple locations throughout different counties.

In Berkeley, The Shorebird Nature Center will host an estimated 800 volunteers in cleaning the city’s shoreline. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the corner of West Frontage Road and University Avenue.

In Richmond, The Watershed Project will lead over 1,000 volunteers in a cleanup along the Richmond shoreline, near Shimada Friendship Park. The event will also include the Flotsam Flotilla, a fleet of kayaks that will take to the bay to remove trash. After the cleanup, Supervisor John Gioia will sponsor a BBQ for volunteers.

The city of Oakland will host an event titled, Creek to Bay Day, where over 1,000 volunteers are expected to descend upon parks, creeks, sloughs and other waterways at 40 locations throughout the city.

In San Francisco, a cleanup kickoff party will start at 9 a.m. on Ocean Beach, near Fulton Street and the Great Highway. There, about 1,000 volunteers are expected to gather, and a DJ will also be playing music throughout the day.

In Pacifica, the Pacifica Beach Coalition will lead about 1,000 volunteers in the cleanup of the city and its coastline. The event will be followed by a dedication ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at Sharp Park Beach to celebrate 14-newly installed cigarette containers throughout the city, in an effort to combat the littering of cigarette butts.

In San Mateo, hundreds of volunteers will gather at Ryder Park, located at 1801 J Hart Clinton Drive. The event will include contests, a DJ, entertainment and a BBQ for volunteers following the event.

In San Jose, volunteers will convene to clean up a section of the Guadalupe River, near the corner of Locust Street and Woz Way. The city’s Anti-Graffiti and Litter Program will lead the event.

In the Central Coast, Save Our Shores will organize cleanup events at over 80 beaches and waterways from 9 a.m. to noon. Last year, the same event prevented 24,379 pounds of trash from entering the ocean.

The cleanups help increase marine wildlife populations, reduce over fishing and hunting, restore marine habitats, support marine diversity and improve the overall health of coastal ecosystems, according to SOS.

In addition, the cleanups can also contribute to the economy of coastal cities.

“If a beach gains a reputation of being dirty, then less people will visit it,” SOS spokesman Ryan Kallabis said. “Lower visitation significantly reduces the amount of money being spent by visitors to that beach community.”

For additional information contact Save Our Shores, Ryan Kallabis (530) 306-0947 cellphone Coastal Cleanup Day Marketing Director Judi Shils (415) 939-1232 cellphone.

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