Approximately 10,000 volunteers scoured beach and inland waterways throughout Los Angeles County Saturday, the 21st annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.
The volunteers collected more than 87,000 pounds of trash and more than 2,600 pounds of recyclables between 9 a.m. and noon.
Dr. Mark Gold, executive director of Heal the Bay, praised the work done by the volunteers, but went on to say that that maintaining clean watersheds is a year-round job.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is more than a once-a-year event,” said Gold, who spent the morning at Compton Creek. “Today was a tremendous success, and we hope it will serve as an inspiration for people to continue to make a difference throughout the year.”
Coastal Cleanup Day activities took place at more than 60 L.A. County locations, including Dockweiler, Compton Creek, the Redondo Beach Pier, Malibu Creek State Park, Tujunga Wash and Elysian Park, as well as Santa Monica.
“We’re continuing our focus on cleaning up inland sites throughout L.A. County,” said Carl Kravetz, president of Heal the Bay. “Because Los Angeles is essentially a giant basin, trash and other pollutants deposited at sites such as Compton Creek and Tujunga Wash eventually find their way to our oceans and beaches. Keeping local watersheds free of refuse is good for our neighborhoods and our bay.”
Including Saturday’s clean-up, Los Angeles County volunteers have collected a total of 402 tons of trash since Heal the Bay began coordinating the event in 1990.
Among the more unusual items found were a two-foot rubber fish at Zuma Beach, orthodontia head gear at Cabrillo State Beach, a Roofmaster hot tar trailer in the Tujunga Wash, and a watermelon patch in Compton Creek.
Founded in 1985 and dedicated to making Southern California waters safe and healthy for people and marine life, Heal the Bay is one of the largest non-profit environmental organizations in Los Angeles County – with more than 10,000 members.The organization, funded by government grants, corporate sponsorships and member donations, offers public education about environmental issues, and numerous volunteer programs and events such as Adopt-A-Beach, a speakers bureau and Coastal Cleanup Day.