Tons of trash expelled from Bay Area beaches on Coastal Cleanup Day


Alejandro Aguirre

At Sunny Cove Beach, friends and families take responsibility for their environment by collecting trash near their local beach.

On April 18, thousands of Save Our Shores volunteers came together for coastal cleanups across the Bay Area.

“Keeping our waterways clear and free of debris is huge issue for the Bay Area community. Volunteering for Save Our Shores is among the many community services that I do,” said sophomore Alex Hebrok.

The California Coastal Commission reported that nearly 54,124 volunteers participated in the event statewide, and collected more than 686,000 pounds of trash.

Save Our Shores is a nonprofit marine conservation organization from Santa Cruz, California. Its mission is to care for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.

The effort was part of this year’s Earth Day celebration, a day dedicated to protecting the planet and sustaining a brighter future for the planet.

According to Kron4 News, volunteers cleaned 10 different sites around the Bay Area, including Cowell Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach, Beer Can Beach, San Lorenzo River, Sequel Creek, Del Monte Beach, Carmel Beach, and Elkhorn Slough.

More than 900 pounds of trash were collected at Elkhorn Slough, which was claimed to be the dirtiest of the sites, according to Mercury News. Among the garbage collected were 16 mattresses, six tires, a microwave, and a toilet.

Apart from the cleanup event, Save Our Shores is also holding a photo contest for the largest and strangest items found during the event.

According to Kron4 News, participants have already submitted pictures of a polar bear costume, a Christmas tree, as well as a 20 pound bag of old bread rolls.

“The purpose of the contest was to make the trash cleanup more entertaining and competitive. People can work at a more competitive pace, and have fun while doing so,” said sophomore Alejandro Aguirre, who participated in the cleanup last Saturday alongside Hebrok.

“Participating in the coastal cleanup event was an eye opening experience, for I was amazed by the amount of junk that our coasts needed to have cleaned up so badly. Yet, I was also amazed by the amount of people who were aware of this and demonstrated the spirit of Earth Day by taking action,” said Aguirre.