On Saturday, September 25th, 50+ LAcarGUY employees, friends and family braved the heat and cleaned Santa Monica’s Dockweiller Beach as part of Heal the Bay’s 21st Annual Coastal Cleanup Day. We joined a record-breaking number of volunteers that collected more than 50 tons of trash.
Some 14,131 volunteers made their way to the coast’s waterways from 9 a.m. to noon at 65 sites throughout the county, covering 101 miles and removing 103,524 pounds of debris.
Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) began in 1985 and has grown into a huge annual event. Every state with a coastline participates, including the Great Lakes states, and even some inland states clean river and lake shores. The one-day cleanup is international—at last count, over 60 nations participated—and may be the largest volunteer day on the planet.
Heal the Bay and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors are the Los Angeles County coordinators for the state of California’s Coastal Cleanup Day. We bring out over 10,000 volunteers to cleanup sites each year in L.A. County to over 50 sites along Santa Monica Bay and along inland creeks and waterways.
LAcarGUY’s commitment to the community and the water around the South Bay is personal. Our president, Mike Sullivan, has been surfing the waves in the area his entire life and many staff join in activities around the beaches and surf regularly.
Most people clean at the beach and on foot, but there are also special cleanups for inland creeks, boaters, kayakers, and divers. By far the most common item picked up are cigarette butts. Some of the more unusual items found in recent years were a chandelier, a briefcase full of graham crackers, and a bridal gown.
City crews, families, local businesses, faith-based organizations, schools and youth sports teams worked in tandem to gather and remove 103,524 pounds of debris.
Urban runoff from more than 200 storm drains flowing out to Santa Monica and San Pedro bays causes the vast majority of local ocean pollution. By removing tons of trash from beaches and inland neighborhoods, cleanup participants enhance quality of life, protect marine animals and bolster the regional economy.
“Code Red” locations in need of special attention this year included Dominguez Channel, Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, the Los Angeles River and Encino’s Haskell Creek. These urban sites drain runoff from huge swaths of Los Angeles County and are overwhelmed by such litter as plastic bags and fast-food packaging.
Heal the Bay’s CCD campaigns have captured a cumulative 1.57 million pounds of trash since 1990. Cigarette butts, plastic bottle caps and Styrofoam fragments are the most frequently found items at cleanups.
Sites covered the entire county this year, from Tujunga to Long Beach, Compton to Malibu. SCUBA dive teams canvassed under the Santa Monica and Redondo Beach piers, while a flotilla of kayakers removed trash from Marina del Rey.
LAcarGUY is proud to be involved with such an important part of the health of our beaches and water. Thank you Heal The Bay!