Registration for San Diego County’s largest cleanup of the year, Coastal Cleanup Day, is now open. I Love A Clean San Diego’s (ILACSD) 33rd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. as part of the International Coastal Cleanup effort, taking place in over 100 countries. ILACSD invites the community to participate locally by choosing from 105 sites where more than 7,000 San Diego-based volunteers will work alongside a half million volunteers worldwide. Volunteers of all ages and ability levels are welcome to register for a site of their choice at www.CleanupDay.org.

Although the name suggests that it is a beach cleanup, ILACSD’s volunteer efforts will reach far beyond the coast. With 80 percent of marine debris originating in inland areas, ILACSD expands its Coastal Cleanup Day reach to include both inland and coastal territory. This year, 65 percent of the cleanup sites are located inland. Nearly 75 percent of the cleanup sites are located inland along rivers, creeks, canyons, and urban areas where debris can be stopped before making its way to the ocean. At 114 cleanup sites last year, volunteers removed 185,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County – the equivalent weight of 10 garbage trucks. It is crucial that this debris is removed, as it is detrimental to the quality of life for San Diego residents and wildlife alike.

While litter removal is a large focus of the event, volunteers will also participate in beautification projects such as graffiti removal and replacing invasive species with drought-tolerant landscaping.  ILACSD and its volunteers work to preserve San Diego for current and future generations to enjoy. Leading the way to a zero-waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged San Diego region, ILACSD encourages all community members to take action in their neighborhood by joining in on Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 16.

In an effort to reduce waste produced by an event of this size, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers can pledge to bring at least one reusable item to the cleanup. When volunteers bring their own reusable water bottle, work gloves, and bucket to collect litter, they prevent thousands of single-use bags and disposable gloves from entering San Diego’s landfills. ILACSD also collects valuable data that helps us understand how we can better prevent litter. Instead of using paper data cards, ILACSD is asking volunteers to download the Ocean Conservancy’s user-friendly mobile data collection app, Clean Swell, onto their smartphones as another way to cut back on waste. Registration information and details regarding Coastal Cleanup Day can be found at www.CleanupDay.org.