California Coastal Commission announces its new cleanup campaign for Earth Day

The California Coastal Commission, the leader of the state’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day, has announced a new and innovative cleanup program that will increase volunteer opportunities and help remove debris from our communities and shorelines before it has a chance to enter the Pacific Ocean. The Earth Day 2012: Clean Up Where You Live, Work, & Play initiative invites all Californians to organize their own cleanup events, as large or small as they like, and at any location they choose.
The Coastal Commission launched a new website, earthdaycleanup.org, to provide a platform for volunteer recruitment over the coming month, leading up to Earth Week cleanups taking place from April 16 to April 22. Californians are invited to register their cleanup locations on earthdaycleanup.org, where the locations will be plotted on a map of California for all to view. The website also offers toolkits and other resources to help citizens run their own cleanups. Volunteers who are interested in participating in a cleanup but not organizing their own effort can also register on the website and choose from among the available cleanups organized by members of their community or by local nonprofits.
“We have had tremendous success over the years with Coastal Cleanup Day and our year-round Adopt-A-Beach Program,” said Eben Schwartz, statewide outreach manager for the California Coastal Commission. “We realized, though, that volunteers want to do more. They’re committed to the health of our coast and oceans. By creating this new platform, we are inviting volunteers to take their cleanup ethic with them into all parts of their lives– to clean up wherever they may live, work, or play– so that we can stop trash before it has a chance to enter our oceans.”
Trash in California is surprisingly mobile, as an estimated 80 percent of all trash that enters the Pacific from California originates from land-based sources. Trash, especially plastic waste, can enter storm drains or creeks and eventually flow out to the ocean. Much of the trash that is visible on city streets and around urban areas has the potential to become marine debris and harm ocean ecosystems. By inviting Californians to clean up around inland areas, the Coastal Commission hopes to improve the conditions on beaches and in the ocean over the long-term.
Earth Day 2012: Clean Up Where You Live, Work, & Play is presented by the California Coastal Commission with support from a group of sponsors, including Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water, Whole Foods Market; Nature’s Path, Clif Bar, Union Bank, and the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau and esteemed partners Heal the Bay and The Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

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