beach-sanfrancisco.jpgVolunteers will descend upon Bay Area beaches on Saturday to remove trash and debris from the sands for the California Coastal Commission’s 26th annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

Last year, 80,622 volunteers cleared 1,387,541 pounds of rubbish statewide from beaches alongside bays, creeks, rivers, highways, and the coastline, according to the commission.

More than 260,000 pounds of trash was cleared from the nine Bay Area counties during last year’s effort, according to the Coastal Commission’s records.

The massive cleaning is annually paired with an International Coastal Cleanup Day hosted by the Ocean Conservancy, the commission said. Coastal Cleanup Day has been the highlight of the Coastal Commission’s year-round “Adopt A Beach” program since its inception in 1985.

The cleanup usually takes place on the third Saturday of September every year, the commission said, but this year’s event is being held on the fourth Saturday to avoid a conflict with last weekend’s celebration of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.

Solano County cleared the most trash in the Bay Area during last year’s cleanup, according to the commission’s 2009 report. In that county, 2,678 volunteers cleared 47,803 pounds of debris from coasts, but only 4,644 pounds of that refuse was recyclable.

San Mateo and Contra Costa counties cleared the second- and third-most trash last year.

Dozens of events are planned again this year. A complete list of cleanup opportunities throughout the state, as well as more information about volunteering, is available at

Pre-registration is required to participate in cleanups with the East Bay Regional Park District at 16 locations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Volunteers can register online at or by calling (888) 327-2757 and pressing 2 at the first prompt, then selecting option 3, the park district said.

The Coastal Commission said volunteers should arrive at the location they choose to clean wearing sunscreen, shoes, and a hat. At the location, volunteers will be provided with trash bags, pencils, and a data card to log trash, which will be documented in the annual report.

People are asked to bring their own gloves or trash collection bins – such as reusable buckets, reused shopping bags, and empty milk jugs with the tops cut off – in order to reduce the environmental impact of the event.

Kyveli Diener, Bay City News

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