Coastal Cleanup Day: Fighting for Awareness

When finding out how much trash we collect in just one day during Coastal Cleanup Day, it’s hard to brush it off. The enormity of the number gets me to think of one negative and one positive thing. On a bad note, we are trashing our environment and we keep trashing it. On a good note, we are all responsible for this trash, which means we can stop the cycle. Did you know that some estimates say 80 percent of ocean pollution comes from on land, i.e. from us?

And Coastal Cleanup Day makes a statement. This large, county wide event has so many angles to it, including the hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash that we anticipate to collect on Sept. 17. The event gives us a chance to be aware of our impact on the environment and how our pollution habits cost us the health and beauty of our ocean.


But how do we help our community see this as more than just a “beach cleanup?” It all comes down to communications. And I’ve had the honor of working on public relations for this event over the past few months.

For the last month, we’ve been calling numerous newspapers and TV stations to get the awareness ball rolling and help recruit more volunteers to join us on Sept. 17. And our partner, I Love A Clean San Diego, has been working with AdClub San Diego and its members to advertise the event and develop these media pieces for the event.

We are also grateful to get so many stories, TV segments and mentions for this year’s event.

Embarcadero_-Dive_Cleanup_02As environmentally conscious individuals, you are the biggest support we have. We want to work together with YOU. That’s why we are excited that on Saturday, San Diego Union-Tribune wants you to share pictures of you and your junk from the event. Please show you are interested and that you care by posting your photos on how you fight trash. We want your voices heard as they are the loudest.

Campaigns like this one prove to me how vital public relations and marketing is for giving a voice of reason for community events like Coastal Cleanup Day. And, personally, I feel fortunate to be a PR person for this rewarding event.

By increasing awareness, we want to decrease trash. The goal in the end is to take proactive steps, instead of reactive. That should be the goal, right?

Until Saturday then! I want to see my “pollution fighters” soon, so don’t forget to register.