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The Adopt-A-Beach program exemplifies the NEC’s “Clean Beaches, Clean Water” efforts by combining volunteer enthusiasm with stewardship opportunities.

Adopt-A-Beach’s evolution began 38 years ago when the NEC received federal funding for its Humboldt Beach Beautification and Restoration project. The success of those early beach cleanups led to the creation of Adopt-A-Beach, now a statewide event coordinated by the California Coastal Commission. Moreover, this effort inspired the creation of the highly successful California Coastal Cleanup Day, part of International Coastal Cleanup Day.

Coastal cleanup efforts like Adopt-A-Beach are critical for slowing down the flow of trash from land to sea. An estimated 80 percent of marine debris originates on land, creating health and safety hazards for people and wildlife alike. Joining the Adopt-A-Beach program is simple and has been received with great enthusiasm by local businesses, schools, family groups, and corporations across the state. Simply follow the directions below to participate in the Adopt-A-Beach program.

Before you sign up check out the map below to see which beaches have already been adopted

Follow 4 Easy Steps to Adopt-A-Beach

STEP 1: Fill out the online form. You can either participate as an individual or recruit a team for your cleanups. Once you have filled out the form, our Coastal Programs Coordinator will be in touch to set up a program initiation meeting.

STEP 2: Meet at the NEC to learn more about  the Adopt-A-Beach Program. At this meeting you will fill out the coastal cleanup liability waiver and sign the Program Participation Agreement. You will also learn about our Cleanup Supplies Lending Library and how to report your cleanup data back to the Northcoast Environmental Center.

STEP 3: Clean up your beach! If needed, coordinate with the NEC by phone (707-822-6918) or email (adoptabeach@yournec.org) to arrange for a cleanup supply pickup. The NEC will provide trash grabbers, gloves, and trash/recycling bags as necessary; however, BYO reusable supplies are strongly encouraged! It is recommended that cleanup groups assign different volunteers to be in charge of trash pickup, recycling pickup, and data card/CleanSwell App tracking for simplicity.

STEP 4: Share cleanup data and return supplies. Following your cleanup, tally all cleanup debris information on either the printed data cards or digital CleanSwell app. This information is very important in evaluating the health of our beach ecosystems over time. Finally, please return the data cards and any unused supplies to the NEC office for the use of future groups.

For more information, or to Adopt a Beach, contact our cleanup coordinator Casey Cruikshank at casey@yournec.org or call the NEC office at 707-822-6918!