Over 10,000 volunteers are expected to make a splash in California’s 27th annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) and Palomar students and staff are invited to join them. .
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17. About 85 cleanup sites are designated this year around San Diego County. In 2010, nearly 100 tons of debris were collected by over 9,000 volunteers during the event.
“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders,” Morgan, the director of development and marketing for I Love a Clean San Diego, said. “Participation in Coastal Cleanup Day gives you first-hand knowledge of how litter negatively impacts our marine environment.”
Over the years volunteers have collected a variety of items among the debris including a gorilla costume, a set of bowling balls and a trophy from 1912. Every bag of trash collected is tallied on a data card and then weighed.
This year CCD is promoting their “Decorate Your Bucket” contest to encourage volunteers to bring their own buckets and gloves to reduce the amount of trash that is created in the event. Awards are given to the volunteers with the heaviest bags of debris in the Weigh in to win contest.
“Volunteers tend to brag to each other about how many pounds of trash they each collected,” Morgan said. “They feel a sense of accomplishment when they proudly turn in their full bags of trash at the end of the day.”
The data cards that are filled out every year are compiled and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy to determine the activities that cause the debris. These data reports are used to educate the public and government officials of the problems created by the debris.
CCD is part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day that takes place in over 100 countries and almost every U.S. State. This event is funded through the support of corporations and government agencies. The County of San Diego is the presenting sponsor this year.
“It’s great to coordinate a regional event that involves volunteers from all over San Diego County.” Morgan said. “Making a difference on such a large scale is very rewarding and makes the months of coordination worthwhile.”
Coastal Cleanup Day is an event for volunteers of all ages. If you are interested in joining the efforts to clean California’s watershed system, register at www.cleanupday.org by Sept. 16.