Coastal Cleanup Set for This Saturday

What: Coastal Cleanup Day
When: 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17
Where: Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach, Shoreline Drive at Park Street

Last year, a record 82,500 Coastal Cleanup volunteers — including about 700 in Alameda — collected more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables across the state by working on more than 2,600 miles of coast and inland shoreline in 53 counties. Supporters of the Coastal Cleanup hope they can meet or beat these results tomorrow, September 17.

“This is a way to change things for the good of the community, for the betterment of the environment and for what we care for, right at home,” said Kevin Fox, coordinator of coastal clean-up activities and community resources, including volunteers, for the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland.

“These efforts can support the cleaning up of our streets and neighborhoods, and that’s ultimately where we need to go,” Fox explained. “Plastic goes onto the streets and into the storm drains, it runs along into our parks and shorelines, and it’s already on a huge scale.”

Along the shoreline in Alameda and at other East Bay locations, he says, data will be collected and used to educate the community about the prevalence of plastic bottle caps, containers and cigarette butts as major sources of pollution.

“We pick up a tremendous amount of waste that day and should be doing so daily,” said Fox. “It’s critical and is becoming more and more of our focus as we work on making sure our storm drains are clear of debris.”

Plastic gets broken up and then eaten by animals, which hurts them, of course, he says.

To cut down on plastic used at the cleanup event, volunteers are asked to bring a reusable water bottle, reusable bucket or bag and their own gloves. Also, organizers suggest that volunteers wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes on Saturday.

Alameda students can receive community-service credits for participating. For such credits, students should bring the appropriate paperwork with them to the volunteer sign-up tables on Shoreline, said Kevin Takei, supervisor at Crown Beach for EBRPD. “We will have signs, tables and information about what we are doing and really hope that the community members can help us clean up in both directions along the beach as much as they are able.”

Janet Levaux