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Where To Participate In Beach Clean-Ups
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Where To Participate In Beach Clean-Ups

Want to participate in a local beach clean-up near you? Here are all the ways you can help keep the beaches clean.


5 min read

September 30, 2021

This year, both California Coastal Cleanup Day and International Coastal Cleanup Day fall on September 18. A global movement in every way, Coastal Cleanup Day encompasses millions of volunteers, spans the globe, and is one of the largest annual preservation and protection efforts for the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches. Interested in doing your part and participating in a local beach clean-up near you? Here are all the ways you can help keep the beaches clean and beautiful.

Involve the whole gang in the beach clean-up and make it a competitive family reunion by seeing who cleans the most trash.

How To Become A Beach Clean-Up Volunteer

Beach clean-ups not only result in pristine coastlines, but also raise awareness for accessible actions people can integrate into their daily lives to promote healthy beaches, always. You can do a self-guided coastal cleanup of your own any day, but if you’d rather work alongside other volunteers keeping the beaches clean on September 18, here are the places you can go, listed from north to south.

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Sharp Park Beach: Pacifica Beach Coalition

The beautiful Sharp Park Beach extends along the waterfront on either side of Pacifica’s 1,140-foot long pier, which is one of the most popular fishing sites along the coast. The community here is celebrating Coastal Cleanup Month by organizing a voluntary event at the beach, on the streets, in parking lots, on the pier, and at the promenade on the second Saturday of September. 

While volunteers are encouraged to bring their own buckets and reusable gloves, extra gloves, buckets, sticks, and other beach clean-up tools will be provided while supplies last.

If you’re interested in learning about more coastal cleanup events nearby, check out the calendar on Pacific Beach Coalition’s official website. Linda Mar, Montara, Rockaway, and more beaches are listed as active beach clean-up locales on September 18—it’s time to get involved! 

Trash looks good in dustbins and oceans looks good with marine life. Become a volunteer and save oceans before it’s too late.

Natural Bridges State Beach: Save Our Shores

Natural Bridges State Beach is one of the most magical shorelines in California, and it wouldn’t be that way if it wasn’t kept spotless by selfless volunteers in the community. Volunteer at this must-see Santa Cruz beach this year with Save Our Shores, which is hosting many area-wide cleanups on International Coastal Cleanup Day.

All you have to do to take part is fill out a quick registration form online, choose your desired location, download the Clean Swell app to keep track of your progress, sign a waiver that you’ll bring with you to your desired site, and show up with the gear you need for the cleanup. Not only will you feel immensely gratified for having done such an amazing job as a beach cleanup volunteer, but you'll also meet great people who are also passionate about the environment and you’ll have an awesome time.

It takes 10 seconds to throw trash in the ocean and 20 seconds to throw in the dustbin, the latter will not cause any harm.

Monterey State Beach: Save our Shores

Besides hosting beach clean-ups at multiple locations in Santa Cruz, Save Our Shores is also taking care of the beaches in Monterey. Monterey State Beach is one potential clean-up locale to pick, but you also have 18 other options to choose from in Carmel, Salinas, and more.

The registration process to participate is the same as it was for Santa Cruz. So, you follow the same steps and fill out the registration form online, download the Clean Swell app, sign a waiver that you’ll bring with you to your desired location, and show up with the gear you need for the cleanup.

Save our Shores encourages you to spread the love of stewardship by sharing photos, videos, and stories from your beach clean-ups. Don't forget to tag @SaveOurShores, and use the hashtags #SOSACC2021 and #ProtectYourHappyPlace. If you pick up something you find funny or bizarre, tag your post with the hashtag #MostUnusualFinds; happy volunteering!

Not all heroes wear a cape, some wear gloves and carry a trash bag to clean the ocean. You are never too small to form a difference.

West Beach Santa Barbara - Explore Ecology

Looking for a beach cleanup volunteering opportunity in SoCal? You might like what Explore Ecology has planned at 29 sites across Santa Barbara County. Show your favorite creek some love and give back by grabbing your gloves and buckets and picking up anything that doesn’t belong.

Sign up alone or as a group on Eventbrite and choose between the many available locations, extending from Arroyo Burro Beach to Zanja De Cota Creek. As unlikely as it sounds, we promise you’ll enjoy every second of coastal cleanup with Explore Ecology in Santa Barbara.

Ventura Beach - Ventura County Coastal Cleanup

Those in Ventura County also have the opportunity to take part in the International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 18. With over 15 locations available, Ventura County Coastal Cleanup gives you the opportunity to choose a spot and do the right thing as a beach cleanup volunteer.

Gather your supplies, print and sign the waiver, and show up—pre-registration is not required. The main objective of Coastal Cleanup Day is to encourage people to remove trash from the shorelines when they see it, identify the sources of marine debris, and ultimately change their pollution-causing behaviors.

The ocean give us water and salt, let us return the favor by cleaning it. Let marine animals know you are their savior.

Huntington Beach - Orange County Costkeeper

Orange County's beautiful beaches are no hidden gems. And, due to their massive popularity, they welcome a lot of crowds—and their left-behind trash—on a daily basis. Throughout the month of September, Orange County Coastkeeper is hosting both in-person and virtual events aimed to educate on plastic pollution and encourage community togetherness to remove trash from beaches and waterways.

To get involved, choose from the many available sites on Orange County Coastkeeper’s website, and show up to do your part at a beach clean-up, from nine a.m. to noon on September 18. Make sure you come ready with closed-toe shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, a water bottle, and your own reusable gloves and bucket. You can either come to the coastal cleanup alone or register a group of people to go with you.

Remember: what goes around comes around. If you give trash you will get the trash. Make sure we are the last generation to clean the trash.

To give you an idea of the grandiosity of this volunteer project, in 2019, close to a hundred thousand Californians cleared more than 800,000 pounds of trash and waste from beaches and waterways, all in a matter of a few hours; and you too can be a part of it this year.

You can find a volunteering opportunity at almost every single beach in California on International Coastal Cleanup Day. For more organized events, check out the map on

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