The largest volunteer cleanup event in Santa Barbara County was a big hit once again. This year’s Coastal Cleanup Day, held on Saturday, drew 847 volunteers at 23 beaches and creeks throughout the county.
Coordinated by the county Public Works Department, the event focuses on improving the local environment by removing trash and debris from area waterways.
“We were once again overwhelmed by the community support,” said Alan Nakashima, who coordinated the event for the Public Works Department. “It’s inspiring to see so many of our residents actively participate in keeping our beaches and creeks clean. The volunteers made a huge difference in protecting our local environment.”
From Carpinteria Beach to the Guadalupe Dunes, 1,970 pounds of trash and 622 pounds of recyclables were collected. In addition to the standard cigarette butts, plastic bags and food wrappers, volunteers encountered their fair share of unusual items. A Barbie doll, fake finger nails, a cat scratcher and a gavel were all found at local sites.
In total, more than 40 miles of beaches and creeks were cleaned during Saturday’s event.
“We would like to thank everyone who made this great event possible,” Nakashima said. “Special thanks to all the volunteers who brought their own reusable buckets and gloves, making the event that much greener.”
This year’s event was supported by partnerships with the cities of Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Santa Barbara County Parks Department, MarBorg Industries and Waste Management. In addition, community members and staff from local nonprofit organizations generously acted as beach captains at each site.
The annual cleanup event is part of California Coastal Cleanup Day, presented by the California Coastal Commission, and International Coastal Cleanup Day organized by the Ocean Conservancy. Data collected through the event is analyzed by Ocean Conservancy staff and used to develop policy and secure funding to preserve the nation’s waterways.
Next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2013. Click here to stay tuned for details.
— Alan Nakashima is the Coastal Cleanup Day coordinator for Santa Barbara County.