Santa Barbara: Thank you, Santa Barbara. You really cleaned up on Coastal Cleanup Day!
Over 1,287 volunteers showed up for Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 18th at 28 sites throughout the County. These dedicated community members picked up over 5,211 pounds of trash and over 892 pounds of recyclables for a total of 6,104 pounds or 3.05 tons of waste. Altogether, they covered 42 estimated miles at sites ranging from Rincon Beach Park to Guadalupe Dunes.
Lydia Ballantine, Coastal Cleanup Day Coordinator for Explore Ecology says, “Thank you so much to everyone who came out and helped clean up our beaches, parks, and creeks last Saturday! The event was a huge success. It was so great to see folks gathering again in a safe, outdoor setting to help keep the outdoor places we love beautiful and trash-free and to prevent our litter from ending up in the ocean. I loved seeing the excited faces as folks brought back their buckets or bags full of trash, even if the smiles were behind masks!”
Pyp Pratt, first time Site Captain says, “Saturday was an exciting day at Butterfly Beach. I am grateful to the many volunteers who showed enthusiasm and care for the beach and ocean. Together we collected 136 poundsof trash that would have ended up in the ocean.”
Coastal Cleanup Day is part of a much larger international event. With 50% of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stands at 21,000 volunteers and climbing. These volunteers picked up 153,281 pounds of trash and an additional 9,256 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 162,538 pounds or more than 81 tons.
Jill Cloutier, PR Director for Explore Ecology, says, “This year’s Coastal Cleanup was so inspiring! I visited Refugio State Beach on Saturday and was amazed to see volunteers there pick up over 485 pounds of litter. It was incredible to see the dedication of the Site Captains and the many community members who chose to spend their Saturday morning taking action.”
The most unusual items found in Santa Barbara County were a cactus head dinosaur, a foam yoga block, a disco ball, a differential from a car, and a sump pump.
Volunteers who participated in the Cleanup can visit the Coastal Commission website to fill out the Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteer Survey and be entered in a drawing for prizes.
Coastal Cleanup Day is made possible with the help of local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who volunteer their time to make a difference.
Lydia Ballantine says, “An especially large thank you to all of our Site Captains! These volunteers led the charge on handing out materials, getting waivers signed, keeping participants safe, and making sure the data gets reported so we know what trash is showing up on our beaches. They are all so essential to this event, whether they’ve been leading a cleanup for 20 years or if this was their first Coastal Cleanup Day!”
There is still time to clean up in your neighborhood, local park, or favorite beach. Volunteers who missed Coastal Cleanup Day are encouraged to cleanup any time during the month of September and their cleanup data will be included as part of Coastal Cleanup Day. Volunteers can record what they find using the Clean Swell app or the Google form on the Explore Ecology website.
Photos of the event can be seen at Explore Ecology’s website: https://exploreecology.org/thank-you-santa-barbara/
Next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2022. Stay tuned for details on Explore Ecology’s website: ExploreEcology.org/Coastal-Cleanup-Day/.
For volunteers who don’t want to wait until next year to participate in a beach cleanup, Explore Ecology sponsors monthly beach cleanups, on the 2nd Sunday of every month from 10:00 pm to 12:00 pm at Arroyo Burro Beach.
Statewide, Coastal Cleanup Day is presented by the California Coastal Commission. In Santa Barbara County, the event is organized by Explore Ecology and the County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery and Waste Management, with support from Project Clean Water, the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Solvang, and the help of many non-profits, businesses, and generous individuals.