Coastal Cleanup Results in 251 tons of Trash Removed

by Placerville Newswire / Sep 21, 2019 / comments

Tens of Thousands of Volunteers Take Action to Reduce Ocean Pollution at the 35th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

San Francisco - Tens of thousands of Californians turned out to take part in the 35th California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest annual volunteer event, organized by the California Coastal Commission.

They gathered hundreds of tons of trash at beaches, shorelines and inland waterways, cleaning up at over 1,000 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties -- the largest collection of sites in the cleanup’s history. Cleanups took place up and down the coast, from the Oregon to Mexico border, and as far inland as Lake Tahoe. California’s event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy.

With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting,

the statewide count stands at 59,772 volunteers.

Those volunteers picked up 469,100 pounds of trash

and an additional 33,611 pounds of recyclable materials,

for a total of 402,710 pounds or 251 tons. 


“Californians cherish our coast, and they proved it yet again today,” said Jack Ainsworth, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. “For 35 years, the citizens of our state have proven their commitment to protecting and preserving our coast and all of California’s natural environments, no matter where they may live.”

The Coastal Commission continues to highlight the damage that trash, especially single-use disposable plastics, can cause to California’s wildlife, economy, and even human health. According to past cleanup data, 75 percent of the debris that volunteers removed today was composed of plastic, a material that never completely biodegrades and has numerous harmful consequences in the environment. Plastic debris can kill wildlife, leach toxins into the environment, and even introduce them into the food chain. Since up to 80 percent of the trash on the California coast originates on land, volunteers across the state helped prevent enormous amounts of trash from ever reaching the ocean, no matter where they participated. 

Most Unusual Items:

Every-day debris and plastic items weren’t the only things found on Coastal Cleanup Day. Volunteers also picked up a number of “unusual” items during this year’s cleanup. The Winners of the 2019 Most Unusual Item contest are:

  • Northern California: A volunteer at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland found a beautiful statue of Vishnu (picture available).
  • Southern California: A volunteer at Swami’s State Beach in Encinitas found a message in a bottle.

To mark the 35th anniversary of the event, the Coastal Commission has launched a California Coastal Cleanup Day Story Map, which takes readers through the history of the cleanup on its website. This interactive story map shows the cleanup’s impact on the health of our coast and ocean and highlights some of the long-standing coastal heroes who have volunteered for the event since it began in 1985. Viewers can scroll through the map to find a photo archive, maps to explore cleanup data down to the county level, and even a collection of the most unusual items found over the years.


Coastal Cleanup Day could not happen without the support of public and corporate partners. Sponsors help to fund the event and often provide additional benefits. Lead sponsor Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water donated water for volunteers. Long-time sponsors like Oracle and Union Bank provided volunteer support. Along with the 60+ non-profit and local government organizations that help organize and run the cleanups around the state, the program’s strong team of partners helped make the 2019 cleanup another huge success.

If you participated in the Cleanup, go to to fill out the Coastal Cleanup Survey and receive a free taco from Rubios. You will also be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes. To stay involved with the cleanup efforts throughout the year, please visit the Adopt-A-Beach page on the same website or call (800) COAST-4U. 

California Coastal Cleanup Day event is presented by the California Coastal Commission with lead sponsorship from Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water by CG Roxane. Additional support comes from Oracle, Union Bank, the Whale Tail© Specialty License Plate, and the Protect our Coast and Oceans Fund. The artwork was generously donated by Tom Killion. 

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2019 is supported by the California Coastal Commission, California State Parks Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy. This event is made possible by the hard work of hundreds of local non-profits and government agencies throughout the state and tens of thousands of volunteers annually.

The Commission is committed to protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable development, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination. The Coastal Cleanup Day Program is part of its effort to raise public awareness of marine and coastal resources and promote coastal stewardship.