Solano Resource Conservation District
Special to the Express
Coastal Cleanup Day started 38 years ago, as citizens recognized a growing need to protect our coastlines, oceans, and waterways from pollution, litter, and debris. Since then, the annual Cleanup has grown into California’s—and the world’s—largest volunteer event. Every September, volunteers gather and spend a morning outdoors to pick up trash and recyclable beverage containers in order to leave their local parks, trails, waterways, and roadsides better than they found them.
When we all work together, we make a big difference. You can join your community and neighbors at one of the more than 60 cleanup sites across Solano County on Saturday, September 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Organizers expect more than 2,500 volunteers to remove at least 20,000 pounds of trash, litter, and recyclables from Solano County sites this year. Collected items typically include cigarette filters, plastic bottles, food takeout containers, grocery bags, and even e-waste and tires. Recycling or properly disposing of these items improves the local environment and prevents all of this litter from travelling along our waterways to end up in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean.
Not only do volunteers collect trash, they are also collecting data. “The significance of Coastal Cleanup Day extends beyond the improvements that volunteers make the day of the event,” says Eben Schwartz, Marine Debris Program Manager with the California Coastal Commission. “Coastal Cleanup data has helped shape legislation and policy addressing plastic pollution into the future.”
The information about how much and what kinds of trash is picked up on Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest existing dataset about plastics pollution in the world. In California, this information has been used to develop new laws, such as the recently passed Senate Bill 54, also known as California’s “Circular Economy Bill,” which requires manufacturers to be responsible for making packaging and single use containers recyclable or compostable, and also creates funding to develop facilities needed for recycling and composting.
Come be a part of the growing stewardship movement in Solano County. Gather a group, or simply come out on your own. Participants range from school groups and faith communities to businesses and neighbors. To learn how to participate, visit the event website cleanupsolano.org for cleanup locations and updates.
You can share your cleanup experience on social media using the hashtags #CoastalCleanup and #KeepSolanoClean. Follow local cleanup efforts on Facebook and Instagram using the handle @cleanupsolano. You can also follow statewide efforts on Facebook at CACoast and on Instagram at facebook.com/CaliforniaCoast, Twitter twitter.com/The instagram.com/thecaliforniacoast/.
Coastal Cleanup Day is coordinated by Solano Resource Conservation District on behalf of the cities and County of Solano and supported by partnerships with local wastewater agencies, parks, and the State’s Coastal Commission.