International Coastal Cleanup Day returns Sept. 18
Last updated 9/2/2021 at 1:33pm
SAN DIEGO – International Coastal Cleanup Day returns to San Diego County for its 37th edition Saturday, Sept. 18. About 80% of all marine debris originates inland, so people of all ages and from all points in the region are encouraged to participate in one of the world’s largest environmental preservation efforts. Volunteers can clean up at any point during the day. Learn more at CleanupDay.org.
The San Diego County event is a major part of International Coastal Cleanup, which includes many U.S. states, territories, and over 90 countries. San Diego County volunteers are joining nearly one million volunteers all over the world in the removal of pollution from our connected ecosystems.
Produced by I Love A Clean San Diego for the region, and in cooperation with the California Coastal Commission and Ocean Conservancy, the event has hosted over 269,000 volunteers countywide who have removed over 5.4 million pounds of litter and debris from local communities since its inception in 1985.
Despite the effects of the pandemic in 2020, San Diego County stood out. The region’s effort accounted for 1% of international litter totals, nearly 6% of the national totals and 20% of California’s results.
This year, Coastal Cleanup Day is making a return to group volunteering and data collection at litter hotspots across the county. If volunteers would like to find a litter hotspot in the county to do their cleanup, they can check the hotspot map on CleanupDay.org. Registration opened Sept. 1.
Keeping with the theme of protecting the coast starts at your front door, organizers are still offering a close to home option to allow more volunteers the opportunity to clean up streets, parks, canyons and beaches within their own communities.
“No matter where you live in San Diego County, we all live in one of the region’s 11 watersheds, which need our help to protect the inland environment, creeks, bays and ultimately the ocean,” said Len Hering, executive director at I Love A Clean San Diego. “We’re happy to be making a significant step toward getting back together in groups to show our love for the region we call home.”
San Diego Gas & Electric will be celebrating its 20th year participating in Coastal Cleanup Day, making it the longest serving corporate team in the San Diego region, according to I Love A Clean San Diego. SDG&E encourages all volunteers to be community scientists and record their data during and after their cleanup so the results of local efforts are included in the global totals.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is an event our employees look forward to each year, and we will be out at four locations this year,” said Scott Crider, senior vice president of customer services and external affairs at SDG&E. “Heading into our 20th year of volunteering for the event, we are proud to have stopped over 110,000 pounds of trash from going into our waterways.”
All volunteers must register at CleanupDay.org to officially participate and have their cleanup totals officially counted in the international effort.
Prior to event day, registered volunteers receive a link to a simple cleanup report form to report their cleanup stats and data, which can be accessed on mobile devices or computers.
I Love A Clean San Diego has created a Volunteer Impact Map. This map visualizes all locations and cleanup totals around San Diego County in real time as volunteers submit data on event day.
Adding an appreciation metric, volunteers will report the number of “thank yous” they receive from passersby while working on their cleanup project.
To help expand the countywide experience, volunteers are encouraged to contribute to the virtual cleanup’s story through Facebook and Instagram with images and video to show themselves in action as they beautify their community, at #ILoveACleanSD, @ILoveACleanSD, #ProtectYourHappyPlace, or #CCD2021.
Top 10 items collected around the world in 2020
Plastic is the problem: All items listed below are examples of single-use plastic.
1. Food wrappers (candy, chips, etc.) 4,771,602
2. Cigarette butts 4,211,962
3. Plastic beverage bottles 1,885,833
4. Plastic bottle caps 1,500,523
5. Straws, stirrers 942,992
6. Plastic cups, plates 754,969
7. Plastic grocery bags 740,290
8. Plastic take out/away containers 678,312
9. Other plastic bags 611,100
10. Plastic lids 605,778
Submitted by I Love A Clean San Diego.