Saturday morning, September 17, 2016 will see the largest volunteer event in the world welcome 800,000 people in 91 countries to sweep millions of miles of beaches, lakes, rivers, ponds , creeks and wetlands, removing 18 million pounds of man-made trash from their shores, banks and coastal areas. All ages are welcome to join the local effort spearheaded by Heal the Bay and the Ocean Conservancy.
No experience needed, just a desire to leave nothing but sand behind as you sweep a beach, bank or park. All sign a waiver (print one from healthebay.org and bring it to the cleanup to save time), pick up a tally sheet, bucket and gloves, form a group and go through a 5-minute introduction to cleaning.
Send selfies with plastic bags to Heal the Bay in support of their campaign to keep plastic bags banned in Los Angeles County by voting Yes on Prop 67 in November.
There’s a choice of 50 cleanup sites in LA County, many around Culver City. One is at Ballona Creek on Overland, another at the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey and two on the beach at Playa del Rey. Go to healthebay.org/volunteer/coastal-cleanup-day-1, pick one and register, then put on sunscreen and a hat, grab a refillable water bottle and arrive before 9 a.m. on Saturday.
You’re done at noon, when the record your group kept of what you found and removed is collected, added to the others, sent to the Coastal Conservancy hotline, tabulated and the results posted asap.
Old timers wait to hear the total tonnage of trash, others wait to hear what the strangest object found was.
Cleanups have been going on for 31 years, a growing force around the world to combat the trash dumped or tossed away and swept to the nearest water source by rain runoff.
There will be friendly people to welcome you, water for refillable bottles, perhaps some sunscreen or donated snacks and buckets and gloves for everyone who doesn’t bring their own. There are few things that start your day with a finer feeling of satisfaction.
And you might find the weirdest object in LA to join the list that includes a wedding dress, replicas of human skulls and WWII gas masks and a pirate hat.
For more information, go to oceanconservancy.org
Those under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.