The California Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual event that occurs on the third Saturday of September. It was first celebrated in 1985 to motivate people to volunteer to remove trash from the oceans, so that they can help protect the aquatic ecosystems. This year’s theme of Coastal Cleanup Day is to encourage them to create cleanup sites, wherever they find scattered debris that might end up in the oceans.

Coastal Cleanups are significant because it not only benefits marine and land ecosystems, but it also benefits humans. Marine debris is dangerous to aquatic life because it causes ingestion, suffocation, and entanglement in them. Trash negatively impacts the physical and mental health of humans because for example, litter such as sharp objects or shattered glass can lead to serious injury. Research has shown that “continued exposure to waste could have psychological effects, leading to a lack of self-worth and depression” (Green Fins, 2021). Cleanups can help boost local economies by attracting tourists.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Coastal Cleanup on Blacow Road on September 23, 2023. It was a well-spent half-a-day clean up, picking up glass bottles, cardboard pizza boxes, plastic bottles, bags, straws, cups, lids, and cigarette butts just to name a few. Imagine if they ended up in the ocean, they would be detrimental to marine animals.

By getting involved in coastal cleanups, the volunteers are giving marine life a second chance. You can contact your local city coordinator to get involved in the cleanup events.


Foundation, The Reef-World. “7 Reasons Why Beach and Underwater Cleanups Are Powerful.” Green Fins, 3 Jan. 2023,