Coastal Cleanup Day? More like Coastal Cleanup Month!

By Casey Cruikshank

Casey Cruikshank, Aly Krystkowiak and Leroy the hypedog remove large debris from Clam Beach with smiles on their faces. Photo credit: Casey Cruikshank.

In spite of COVID 19, we will still be hosting Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) in Humboldt County. This year CCD will look very different than in years past. In order to maintain the safety of our community we’ve made some important changes that reflect our long-term goals. Instead of Coastal Cleanup Day happening on one day in September, we will be hosting CCD on every Saturday in September. We’re pleased to be encouraging sustained activism, which is more in line with our mission.

Coastal Cleanup Day will be entirely social-distance friendly. We are asking that all participants only participate with others in their home. We ask that you respect social distancing rules according to the current State of California guidelines. We encourage you to wear reusable protective gloves and trash pickers (when possible), and 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.

Forward-thinking volunteers from the Matole School demonstrate one way to practice social distancing while cleaning the beach. Photo credit: Malia Freelund.

This year as we navigate the pandemic, we’re embracing the necessary changes and focusing on the bright side. Instead of there being site captains, each group (from the same shelter in place household) will participate on their own. By encouraging participation on every Saturday in September we are working toward creating sustained environmentalism and a trash-picking habit that will keep you coming back for more. 

Our focus will be on education and data collection. Each year we encourage CCD participation both in our cities and on the beaches. This year, we highly encourage our participants to have a focus on their own neighborhood. How did the debris you’re finding make its way to the  street? Where is it coming from? What items are you finding most? Track data during your cleanup to gain a better understanding of local waste patterns and add to our database. If you have any questions about participating in Coastal Cleanup Day please reach out to us at coastalcleanup@yournec.org.