Coastal Cleanup Day 2020 | Every Saturday in September



A Different Approach

This year Coastal Cleanup Day will look a little different. In order to maintain the safety of our community Coastal Cleanup Day will be spread out to every Saturday in September instead of having a large gathering on one day. We’re pleased to be encouraging sustained activism, hopefully creating a trash-picking habit that will keep you coming back for more.

This year we highly encourage individuals or groups from the same household to focus their cleanup energy on their own neighborhood. All water leads to the sea, and a clean ocean starts on your street!

Social Distancing & Safety

Coastal Cleanup Day this year will be entirely socially distance friendly. We are asking that all participants only participate with others in their home. We ask that you respect social distancing rules in accordance to the current State of California guidelines. We encourage you to wear masks, reusable protective gloves, and use trash pickers if available. Depending on the current situation with COVID-19 we may or may not be able to rent out trash picking supplies. We also encourage you to dispose of all trash outside your home in an outdoor receptacle.

Please review this Guidance for Neighborhood Cleanups document provided by the California Coastal Commission for a detailed guide on safe cleanup practices.

Citizen Science & Data Collection

This year, we are putting a much stronger focus on education and data collection. Citizen science is a very important part of Coastal Programs at the NEC. Our Coastal Program’s staff and volunteers track marine and neighborhood debris to find local waste patterns (what kind of trash is being found and where) so we can advocate for waste reduction solutions in our community. See the data collection guide below to find how you can become a citizen scientist and contribute to a world wide marine debris database!

As you are doing your cleanup consider being a trash detective and asking yourself these questions: How did the debris your finding make its way to the street? Where is it coming from? What items are you finding most? What is the difference between trash in multiple areas?

Volunteer Prizes

We are so appreciative of our Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers that this year we are offering a chance to win prizes for participants! Every Saturday we will host a prize drawing for every volunteer who fills out our Cleanup Results Reporting Form. Follow the NEC on Facebook or Instagram to learn about the weekly prizes being offered. At the end of Coastal Cleanup Month we will be offering prizes based on four categories.

  • Prize Categories:
    • Most Pieces of Trash Picked Up
    • Most Frequent Volunteer
    • Largest Item Picked Up
    • Best Photo Submitted

Support Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day is one of the largest cleanup events of the year. The Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) is Humboldt County’s Coastal Cleanup Day Coordinator and each year we inspire hundreds of volunteers to pick up thousands of pounds of trash around our community. This year we’re taking trash picking a step further with citizen science data collection so we can advocate for waste reduction solutions in our community.

Here at the NEC we work on a shoestring budget and succeed only with determination, devotion, and aid from great volunteers. For 50 years, the NEC has served as a vital hub for information and programs that involve, inform, and inspire residents with regard to environmental issues that matter most on California’s North Coast. From watershed awareness to climate action to beach cleanups the NEC has been at the forefront for all of us.


Show your support for Coastal Cleanup Day by purchasing one of our limited edition 5″ stickers for only $5! Only 100 available.


Have Questions?


If you’re interested in participating and would like to learn more, watch this video with the NEC’s Coastal Programs Coordinator. Casey Cruikshank provides tips and tricks for safe cleanups, gives tutorials on how to properly collect data, and explains how to win prizes.