Coastal Cleanup Month Starts Saturday

Coastal Cleanup Month Starts Saturday title=
2019 Coastal Cleanup at East Beach (courtesy photo)
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Source: Explore Ecology

Coastal Cleanup Month, formerly known as Coastal Cleanup Day, starts on Saturday, September 5th from 9:00 am to Noon. Santa Barbara County community members are encouraged to participate by cleaning up litter close to home and in their neighborhoods on four Saturdays in September. 

Like so many events, Coastal Cleanup Day has been changed due to COVID-19. Instead of gathering together at beaches and sites throughout the County on a single day, cleanups will occur during the entire month, with an emphasis on each Saturday of the month; September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. If Saturdays don't work, cleanups can be done any day in September.

With an entire month for cleanups, Explore Ecology is hoping to inspire citizens to pick up more trash than ever before! Let's see if we can beat last year's record of 1,259 volunteers who picked up over 5,663 pounds of trash and 674 pounds of recyclables. 

Cleanups should be self-guided and close to home. Local parks, shores, creeks, streets, sidewalks, natural areas, and trails are great choices. To make this a safe cleanup for everyone in Santa Barbara County, practice physical distancing and strictly follow both local ordinances and the set of guidelines provided on the California Coastal Commission website to make this a safe cleanup for all! If you find any hazardous waste, (i.e. batteries, filled paint cans, aerosols, etc.) please visit the County of SB’s Resource Recovery and Waste Management website for information on how to dispose of the waste properly. 

Jill Cloutier, Explore Ecology Public Relations Director, says "Although we're disappointed that we won't see all of you on the beach this year, we are excited about the opportunity of doing more cleanups and picking up trash close to home. Our actions on land greatly impact our coastline. When we pick up litter before it becomes marine debris, we are making our neighborhoods and beaches more beautiful, healthy, and safe. Not only for us, but for all creatures.” 

Pre-registration is not required, but is encouraged so there is an accurate count of participants  To register and for more information about Coastal Cleanup Month, visit ExploreEcology/ Email Julia with any questions at [email protected]

Explore Ecology encourages those with smart phones to download the Clean Swell app as their main method of collecting data. Not everyone has access to a smart phone, so there are two other ways to record litter; using a printable data card and uploading your results to our Google Form or calling a dedicated phone line and leaving a message. 

Use the Clean Swell App: Click Here for More Information
Download the Coastal Commission Data Sheet in English Here
Download the Coastal Commission Data Sheet in Spanish Here
Enter Your Results on Our Google Form
Santa Barbara County Coastal Cleanup Month phone line: 805-284-6706

It’s very important to record what litter is found so it's included in the statewide count and in the Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. These data deliver a global snapshot of ocean trash and provide researchers and policy-makers insight to inform solutions to the marine debris issue.

Although we can’t meet up in person this year, we can stay connected virtually as we work to keep our coastline clean. Throughout the month, stay connected with other engaged community members across the County by visiting Explore Ecology's Instagram and Facebook pages. Tag @exploreecology in your photos and videos and share what you find on social media with the hashtags #coastalcleanup and #protectyourhappyplace. Send us your selfies, trash hauls, unusual items and more by emailing photos to [email protected]

Community Service Hours are available through Explore Ecology. Volunteers must keep track of their hours and send them to [email protected] at the end of their cleanup(s). 

In Santa Barbara County, Coastal Cleanup Day is brought to you by Explore Ecology and their partner the County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery and Waste Management, with support from the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Solvang. The California Coastal Commission organizes the statewide event and the international event is organized by the Ocean Conservancy. 

About Explore Ecology

Explore Ecology is an environmental education and arts nonprofit that works with over 30,000 children a year, inspiring them to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Explore Ecology programs include the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store and Gallery, Watershed Resource Center, and School Gardens Program. For more information, visit 

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Always_Running Sep 04, 2020 03:11 PM
Coastal Cleanup Month Starts Saturday

I can not figure out where do you put the trash found? Do we bag them and leave trash next to city bins or are we expected to haul the trash found? With no parking this weekend if may be tough for some of us. I plan to call to get answers.

Explore Ecology Sep 09, 2020 09:47 AM
Coastal Cleanup Month Starts Saturday

Hi Rinconer and Always Running,
Thanks for your concern about our waterways! This year, we ask that people dispose of the trash they find in their own trashcans, unless there are public trashcans available that are already sanctioned for public use.

You can do your cleanups at any time during the month of September. You can find out more here:

Someone just let us know that they picked up 360 cigarette butts during their cleanup!!

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