Beach and Coastal Cleanups

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Coastal Cleanup days help.

International Coastal Cleanup Day this year was Saturday, September 20th – thanks to all those who participated! 

We celebrated the 30th Anniversary of California Coastal Cleanup Day through multiple beach and coastline cleanups. Aquarium of the Bay held our annual beach cleanup at Aquatic Park near Fisherman's Wharf – and also served as a county coordinator for San Francisco across 11 sites along the Bay on the East side of the city.

We are proud to partner with many organizations and volunteers who made possible this annual event including:

Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, Recology, the Port of San Francisco, SF Environment, Baykeeper, Ben & Jerry’s Core Tour 2014, Chinook Book, the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, Fairmont Hotel, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Green Trust SF, Hilton Hotel, Kayaks Unlimited, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Schools of the Sacred Heart, Sea Scavenger Conservancy, SF Department of Public Works, SF Maritime National Historical Park, Public Utilities Commission, and SF Recreation and Park Department.

Data collection from Coastal Cleanup Day is still underway, but early reports indicate:

  • Over 14,000 lbs of trash cleaned up along the Bay on the East side of SF
  • Nearly 4,000 lbs of trash cleaned up along the Pacific ocean on the West side of SF
  • Through our partnership with Recology, at least half of that trash was recycled, composted, or otherwise diverted from landfill.
  • As in previous years, cigarette butts were the most numerous trash item.  Dedicated volunteers picked up – and counted – at least 30,000 butts.
Cigarette butt litter is problematic because the filters are made mostly of plastic, which can persist in waterways and become plastic pollution in ocean gyres.  Other common litter such as food wrappers, straws, and plastic bags can also float or blow into the ocean where they endanger animals living there. You can help keep our beaches and ocean healthy by volunteering for cleanups, and by reducing your consumption of single-use plastic.

Interested in a cleanup before next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day in September 2015? 

Save the date for our next Aquatic Park cleanup on January 19, 2015.  In the meantime, check out some periodic events by our partners: