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International Coastal Cleanup Day
International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) is one of the world’s largest annual preservation and protection events and volunteer efforts for our ocean, waves and beaches. The cumulative result is not only a cleaner and healthier coastline but also a raised consciousness for accessible actions people can integrate into their lives to promote healthy beaches on a daily basis.
Some of the top five most commonly collected items on ICCD last year were cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws, respectively. All are forms of plastic debris. The very qualities that make plastic an adaptable and durable product to use, also make it an environmental nightmare. Plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they break down with exposure to weather and the sun’s ultraviolet rays into smaller and smaller pieces. When these pieces infiltrate the environment, especially marine environments, they wreak havoc on wildlife and the ecosystem.
While many organized beach cleanups remain suspended due to pandemic restrictions on group events, you can still participate in International Coastal Cleanup Month by doing your own Solo Beach Cleanup any time in September.
See the Heal the Bay website or the Surfrider Foundation website to create your own “solo” cleanup any time in September, or check out the map on the California Coastal Commission website for cleanup events you can join in our area on September 18.