California’s Coastal Cleanup Day, part of a broader global trash collection day that takes place in 50 states and about 90 countries each year on the third Saturday of September, will include several local beach cleanup sites.

The 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, organized statewide by the California Coastal Commission, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, September 15th, at about 700 locations around the state.

Volunteers will clean trash and debris from 1,100 miles of the California coast as well as another 1,000 miles along the inland shorelines of bays, creeks, rivers, and lakes throughout California.

Coastal environmental group Heal the Bay is the coordinator for Los Angeles County and is organizing cleanup efforts at Santa Monica Beach, Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey and Venice Beach.

At Santa Monica Beach, cleanup meeting sites include lifeguard towers 4, 8, 18, 22, 27, and 1550.

The three cleanup sites in Venice are at Ocean Front Walk and Rose Avenue; the Venice Pier at Washington Boulevard; and the Venice breakwater at Windward Avenue.

In Playa del Rey, cleanup sites are on Dockweiler Beach at Imperial Highway and Vista Del Mar; and at Toes Beach at 62nd Street and Pacific Avenue.

On-site coordinators from Heal the Bay will provide trash bags, gloves and tally cards, in order to gather data on what types of junk are most commonly found beachside.

In the Marina, volunteers will meet at the UCLA Marine Aquatic Center, 14001 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, for a special in-water kayak cleanup. Volunteers will pluck debris out of the water along the jetty that separates Ballona Creek from the Marina. Reservations are required to participate in the Marina cleanup. Information, (213) 576-6614.

There is no charge to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day, but those under 18 years old who wish to participate must bring a liability waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Waiver forms can be found on the California Coastal Commission Web site, www.coastal.ca.gov/.

“California Coastal Cleanup Day has long been the state’s largest volunteer event,” said Eben Schwartz, statewide director of the cleanup. “Recent actions by our state government have challenged us to build even further on this success.

“The California Ocean Protection Council recently passed a Resolution on Marine Debris that calls on the coastal commission to expand our coastal and watershed cleanups. We are taking this challenge to heart, and expect this year’s Cleanup to be our biggest ever.”

Organizers expect the event to expand from last year, when 56,273 volunteers turned out to remove just under one million pounds of debris statewide from California’s shorelines — the largest number of participants in the cleanup’s history, according to Schwartz.

The California Coastal Commission estimates that 60 to 80 percent of the debris found on California’s beaches originates from inland or urban areas and washes out to the ocean.

The single most prevalent item found among debris collected is cigarette butts, according to the coastal commission.

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the kickoff to Coastweeks, a three-week celebration of California’s coastal resources. The California Coastal Commission is sponsoring an on-line calendar of events taking place throughout the state during this period.

Individuals interested in volunteering can contact the California Coastal Commission to sign up for Coastal Cleanup Day 2007 or to find out about Coastweeks events.

In addition to the California Coastal Commission, California Coastal Cleanup Day 2007 is supported by the California State Parks Foundation, and the Ocean Conservancy. Whole Foods Market donated a portion of store profits to this year’s event.

In addition, hundreds of local nonprofit groups and governmental agencies throughout the state and about 50,000 volunteers are involved annually with the cleanup.

Information, (800) 262-7848 or www.coast4u.org/.

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