Statewide survey shows volunteer event provides essential education on marine debris impacts
San Diego, Calif. – Registration is now open for San Diego County’s largest environmental volunteer event, Coastal Cleanup Day. San Diego coordinators I Love a Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper expect about 10,000 volunteers to participate in the 27th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County on Saturday, Sept. 17. Coordinators will host more than 85 inland and coastal cleanup sites and ask volunteers to bring their own buckets, work gloves and reusable water bottles to help reduce the amount of trash created during the event.
According to a survey conducted by the California Coastal Commission, Coastal Cleanup Day effectively improves volunteers’ knowledge of the environmental problems caused by marine debris. The survey data, taken by participants of the 2010 event in San Diego County, reflect a 23 percent increase in knowledge regarding the causes of marine debris. After the event, more than 82 percent of San Diego respondents consider themselves either “knowledgeable” or “very knowledgeable” about the causes of marine debris, as opposed to only 59 percent before the event. Similarly, after the event, 72 percent of San Diego survey participants considered themselves “knowledgeable” or “very knowledgeable” about the negative environmental impacts caused by marine debris, as opposed to 53 percent before the event.
Last year in San Diego County, volunteer involvement rose to approximately 9,000 participants, with another 3,000 volunteers lending their support across the border in the U.S./Mexico-shared Tijuana Watershed. Volunteers removed close to 100 tons of debris from more than 80 cleanup sites along the coastline and in canyons, creek beds, lagoons, estuaries and open spaces.
Volunteers can now register for Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer event in the state, on the official San Diego County Coastal Cleanup Day website, www.cleanupday.org. The website includes an interactive Google Map with all cleanup sites in the region, including a handful of Green “in need” sites. Event coordinators encourage volunteers to register for a Green “in need” location, as trends in the data show that volunteers recover more trash at select inland sites, thus increasing the need for volunteers there.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL CLEANUP DAY is a volunteer event 27 years in the making, with more communities, cities and counties joining every year. Through a partnership with California Coastal Commission and Ocean Conservancy, volunteers track types of debris found to compile and learn the sources of marine debris worldwide. I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper co-coordinate this event in San Diego County. More details about each organization can be found online at www.cleansd.org and localhost/sdcoastkeeper.