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Home / heal the bay

Volunteers needed for massive beach cleanup effort across the Southland

California Coastal Cleanup Day is when tens of thousands of residents are expected to join in collecting trash and debris from Southland beaches and neighborhoods.

Heal the Bay will host events at 9 a.m. Saturday at Santa Monica Beach, north of the Santa Monica Pier, and dozens of other clean-up locations countywide. A registration portal for volunteers is available at healthebay.org/coastalcleanupmonth.

“From wildfires to waste, clean water is so important for us to sustain in L.A., to protect the places and people we love, and to fight against the increasingly severe impacts of climate change,” according to a statement from Heal the Bay.

Coastal Cleanup Day is Heal the Bay’s highlight of the worldwide Coastal Cleanup Month, which is co-sponsored by Portland Potato Vodka and the Ocean Conservancy. Coastal Cleanup Month is an effort to mobilize residents to pick up harmful and unsightly trash and debris while enjoying the outdoors.

In 2020, Heal the Bay volunteers removed more than 40,000 pieces of trash from neighborhoods, parks, trails and beaches. Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, which became essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, was among the top 10 types of trash recovered.

All participants are asked to wear a mask, use gloves and to abstain if not in good health. Spots will be limited at clean-up sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heal the bay beach cleanup
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and Heal the Bay collaborate during National Coastal Cleanup Day at Dockweiler State Beach. The event included cleaning up the beach, family-friendly activities, and a chance to enter the Can the Trash! Clean Beach Poster Contest. | Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County officials also reminded residents that kids can learn about keeping beaches clean everyday thanks to an online campaign.

The county’s Can the Trash! campaign teaches kids how trash from all over Los Angeles County travels through the watershed and ends up in the ocean and on beaches like Dockweiler, Venice and Zuma.

Third through fifth grade students also have a chance to share their own environmental message about keeping beaches clean by entering a poster contest. Five winners from each grade have their artwork wrapped around beach trash barrels on some of Southern California’s most popular beaches annually. Entries are accepted year-round, but the deadline to enter the contest for summer 2022 is Jan. 9, 2022.

A “Clean and Blue” music video and “Ocean Heroes” activity guide for children were developed in a partnership between Heal the Bay and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. All materials are available at beaches.lacounty.gov/postercontest and will also be available outside the Dockweiler Youth Center at 12505 Vista Del Mar in Playa Del Rey on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon as part of Coastal Cleanup Day.

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