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Coastal Cleanup Day gatherings return Sept. 18

Two sites located in Morgan Hill, one in Hollister

File photo

The California Coastal Commission announced that the 37th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day will return to in-person gatherings at sites around the state on Sept. 18.

On that day, Californians are encouraged to take to streets, parks, creeks, streams, rivers and the coast from 9am to 12pm to help prevent single-use plastic items and other litter from polluting the environment and flowing into the ocean.

Locations in South Santa Clara and San Benito counties include:

– Morgan Hill: 100 Edes Court

– Morgan Hill: Chesbro Reservoir County Park, 17655 Oak Glen Ave.

– Hollister: Sunnyslope School, 1475 Memorial Drive.

To find out more about how to join the effort, the commission has an interactive map of cleanup locations in every corner of the state, which is available at

The ability to gather at cleanup cites was paused in 2020 due to Covid-19 precautions, says a press release from the California Coastal Commission. Instead, the commission encouraged individual or household cleanups of neighborhoods, local parks, creeks, coastlines or any place to which volunteers had safe access.

Turnout for the month-long cleanup effort in 2020 was impressive: close to 17,000 volunteers removed more than 150,000 pounds of trash and walked more than 3,000 miles while doing so. Those volunteers added to the cleanup’s ongoing record as the state’s largest volunteer event—since 1985, more than 1.6 million volunteers have removed over 26 million pounds of trash.

This year, as the state has cautiously reopened, most local organizers feel safe in re-establishing cleanup sites. Volunteers should follow their county public health guidance and are encouraged to wear masks, do their best to remain at safe distances from other volunteers, and to monitor air quality to ensure that it is safe to attend the cleanup. While most cleanup sites will be able to move forward as they normally would, in some cases local organizers are reducing the number of volunteers allowed at cleanup sites to maintain safe distances. 

“The pandemic took a significant toll on all of us in so many ways,” said the Commission’s Executive Director, Jack Ainsworth. “There were times when outdoor spaces became the only places many of us could safely go to refresh and reflect. While it’s been wonderful to see so many rediscover and enjoy our coast, some of those spaces paid the price for our inability to run organized cleanup events last year. This Coastal Cleanup Day will be an important opportunity for us all to take care of this precious resource.” 

In addition to Coastal Cleanup Day, the Coastal Commission continues to encourage volunteers to recognize Coastal Cleanup Month by cleaning up wherever they are, whenever they can. Trash on the streets and in local creeks and parks can easily become ocean pollution once the rains arrive and wash that trash into stormwater systems and ultimately out to the ocean, says the press release. Neighborhood cleanups give everyone the opportunity to participate, no matter when it might occur.

Folks doing self-guided cleanups can download and use the Clean Swell app during or after the cleanup, and the totals will be automatically included within the larger statewide tally. 

Alternatively, you can download and print a paper data card from and send to the address on the back of the card.

Check the website for updates and share your cleanup experience on social media using the hashtag #coastalcleanupday and #protectyourhappyplace. Take a post cleanup survey and receive a coupon for a free taco from Rubio’s. California Coastal Cleanup Day is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer event.

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2021 is supported by the California Coastal Commission, California State Parks Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy.