Southland residents cleaned up more than 70 coastal and inland sites during the California Coastal Commission’s 23rd annual Coastal Cleanup Day, coordinated in Los Angeles County by Heal the Bay, Saturday, September 15th.

More than 11,000 volunteers removed 79,234 pounds of ocean-bound debris and recyclables from the Los Angeles County watershed, according to Heal the Bay.

From 9 a.m. until noon, individuals and community groups canvassed beaches, parks, alleys, creeks, highways and storm drains throughout the county, from Malibu to Echo Park to Long Beach.

This year’s haul surpassed last year’s total of 70,413 pounds of debris.

Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day campaigns have cleared a cumulative 988,496 pounds of ocean-bound trash since 1990.

“Today was a remarkable day of action as well as education,” said Karin Hall, executive director of Heal the Bay. “It’s satisfying to remove so much debris from the watershed this weekend, but it’s equally important to raise awareness about the everyday steps people can take to reduce marine-bound pollution throughout the year.”

Among some of the most unusual items found this year were a bridal gown submerged in the waters off Santa Monica Pier, a .357 Magnum-style air pistol at a Playa del Rey-area beach, an expired passport in the sand at Hermosa Beach, a doorless safe and more than 2,000 used or partially filled cans of spray paint in a Wilmington park.

Coastal Cleanup Day is held in partnership with the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Observed by 50 states and nearly 70 countries, the event has become “the largest volunteer day on the planet,” according to organizers.

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