Angelenos to mobilize for Coastal Cleanup Day

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Angelenos are asked to mobilize for Coastal Cleanup Day as “Heal the Bay” seeks volunteers for September 19 to restore five worst trash-strewn waterways

“Heal the Bay” has released its inaugural list of Los Angeles County's five most debris-impacted waterways and sent out an urgent call for volunteers to help restore the sites as part of Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sept. 19.

The "Code Red" locations in need of special attention are Ballona Creek, Compton Creek, Dominguez Channel, L.A. River at Elysian Park and Ken Malloy Harbor Park. These urban sites drain runoff from huge swaths of Los Angeles County and are overwhelmed by such litter as plastic bags and fast-food packaging.

Beyond the "Code Red" sites, tens of thousands of Los Angeles County residents will mobilize 9 a.m. to noon at more than 70 other cleanup sites, from Pasadena to Palos Verdes. Volunteers will canvass beaches, parks, creeks, lakes, highways and alleys to remove ocean-bound trash.

Linking with similar cleanups around the globe, participants in the 25th annual Coastal Cleanup Day can take satisfaction in joining the world's biggest single-day volunteer event. Attendees will receive hands-on education about the easy steps they can take throughout the year to keep local watersheds clean and build community pride.

"The ocean belongs to all of us and we all have a duty to protect it," said Mark Gold, president of “Heal the Bay”, the Santa Monica-based environmental group that organizes Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County. "This volunteer event reminds us to take action, no matter where we live."

Last year, Los Angeles County volunteers collected their cumulative 1 millionth pound of trash since 1990's inaugural local event, equaling roughly the weight of a fully loaded Boeing 747 jumbo jet. By removing debris from beaches and inland neighborhoods, cleanup participants reduce blight, protect marine animals and bolster the regional economy.

"This global effort is a reminder to all of us to be good stewards of the environment and put trash in its proper place," said Gail Farber, Los Angeles County's Director of Public Works.

“Heal the Bay” seeks volunteers of all ages and physical abilities. No special equipment or experience is necessary. Site captains will organize a diverse mix of individuals, families, neighborhoods, community groups, schools, faith-based groups, sports teams and businesses.

For registration information and cleanup tips, please visit

“Heal the Bay” organizes Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County in partnership with the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. The L.A. campaign is part of a global international event led by the Ocean Conservancy that encompasses 6 million volunteers in 127 countries and all U.S. states. The day has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's biggest 24-hour volunteer event.

This year's sponsors include Union Bank of California, CBS2/KCAL 9, and Subaru, which is distributing free cleanup kits at selected Southern California dealerships. A list can be found here.

CBS2/KCAL 9 will be airing a special news program about this year's Coastal Cleanup Day, on Saturday 09-12 between 3-4 p.m. on the frequencies of KCAL 9, with more information for potential volunteers.

“Heal the Bay” is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.

What amazes me as a writer in Britain is that I get information about those happenings in America but hear absolutely nothing of such events in the UK. Now either there are no such cleanups being conducted on that day – or any other – on a big scale in this country or the organizers and organizations have not worked out as yet how to use PR and the media.

© 2009