Santa Monica News
The “Biggest Volunteer Day On The Planet”
By Nashfa Hawwa
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:14:52 PM

Photo courtesy of California Coastal Commission
SANTA MONICA—Heal the Bay organization is currently requesting volunteers to come and break their own Guinness World Record for the 24th Annual Coastal Cleanup day on Saturday, September 21.


Every year, on the third Saturday of September, Californians gather together to take part in the state’s largest volunteer event, the California Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year, thousands of visitors from around the world collected 2 million cigarette butts from the coast and 9000 volunteers from Los Angeles cleaned up 20 tons of debris. According to the official Heal the Bay website, “62,668 volunteers in California participated in Coastal Cleanup Day and removed over 728,289 pounds of trash and 143,291 pounds of recyclable waste from over 1,500 miles."


The cleanup will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. There are various other events scheduled for the day. A human peace circle is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m., and a paddleboard clinic will run from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. A dory race will also take place on the Santa Monica Pier after the cleanup.


Food and drinks will be served courtesy of Rusty’s Surf Ranch and volunteers will be given a chance to win giveaways of customized paddleboards as well as other prizes. Apart from cleaning, collecting trash and unnatural debris from the coast, certified scuba divers will also collect underwater debris from tourist hotspots such as the Santa Monica and Malibu piers.


There are 50 sites that are listed to be cleaned-up up on the day, including coastal sites, dive sites and inland locations. Volunteers do not need to have prior training or equipment to participate in the event. The Santa Monica Tower (20), Santa Monica Beach (Tower 27), Santa Monica Beach at the Pier (Tower 1550), Santa Monica Pier Dive, Topanga State Beach, Malibu Pier Dive, Malibu/Surfrider, Malibu Lagoon (Western Side) and Malibu Pier Dive are among the 50 locations that are listed on the website.


Days like the Coastal Cleanup day are becoming important. According to Heal the Bay website, “Trash in the ocean compromises human and wildlife health, which affects the livelihoods of millions of people all over the planet. We all need clean water. Every little piece of paper, cigarette butt or bottle cap that makes its way to street sewers ends up in streams or rivers and eventually down to the ocean.  Oceans are the largest part of our water cycle, generating oxygen and rain necessary to sustain life on Earth.” The website urges everyone to “Be a Changing Force for the Future and Defend Clean Water.”


The first 100 volunteers at all sites in the City of Los Angeles will receive a free reusable shopping bag, courtesy of the city of Los Angeles. Volunteers are also requested to bring their own buckets, gloves and reusable bags. The event has been organized by Ocean Conservancy for nearly three decades and it is the largest volunteer event in the world.

For more information to volunteer for the event and for specific location details, please visit or

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