Coastal Cleanup Day happens all month long

By Caden Sullivan

Every year since 1985, residents of California have worked together to clean local waterways typically on the third Saturday of September. This international holiday is normally known as Coastal Cleanup Day, but due to the dangers of the pandemic, this year’s event is going to be different.

2020 is the first year in California’s history that all of September will be Coastal Cleanup Month. From the mountains to the sea, any site in LA County can be a cleanup spot. Also having a month of many small cleanups as opposed to one day of large gatherings should offer multiple advantages. More volunteers should be available to help, the ones who do will be socially-distanced, and theoretically, more ground should be covered.

The switch to Coastal Cleanup Month means residents can now pick their own time and place to go out and pick up trash. With this freedom of time and choice, nobody is going to miss the chance to volunteer because of work, school, or anything time-sensitive. Everyone can participate.

The Ballona Wetlands are a particularly important site for Coastal Cleanup Day each year as 130 square miles of storm drain water flow into this habitat. Since trash from all around Los Angeles can end up there, the Friends of Ballona Wetlands are asking Westchester locals to target this spot in their own Coastal Cleanup Week from Sept. 13 to 19.

With the city on lockdown and many businesses at a halt, organizers are hoping that households can make it out at least once in September to do their part. If they can’t, there’s also a virtual webinar on Sept. 15 to educate locals on the importance of the wetlands’ restoration. More information on volunteering and attending the webinar is available at ballonafriends.org, where you can also make a donation.

Heal the Bay will be focusing on waterways Sept. 12 through 18. Since there will be no organized in-person cleanups this year, register your DIY cleanup so that Heal the Bay can send you reminders and exclusive participant info to stay connected. Tag @healthebay and hashtag your cleanup posts on social with #coastalcleanupmonth, and be sure to bring your own mask, gloves, bucket and reusable water bottle.

Visit healthebay.org/coastalcleanupmonth to learn more, register your clean up or check out additional Coastal Cleanup events happening throughout September.

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