Coastal Cleanup Month | September 2022

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Help us celebrate 43 years of coastal stewardship on the North coast by participating in Coastal Cleanup Month 2022! What was once a one-day event has been expanded to include cleanups every weekend in September, so you have more opportunities than ever to join with friends and family to make a difference for the environment. This month-long event will feature citizen science data collection and weekly prize raffles for participants, so sign up at the link above to attend a cleanup!


Masks will not be required at Coastal Cleanup Month cleanups, though our guidance may change depending on COVID-19 infection rates. You can keep up to date by following us on social media or checking this web page. If you are uncomfortable gathering in large groups for your cleanup, we encourage you to participate with your family or friends in your own neighborhood, local park, or trail. Another safety concern this time of year is air quality. If air quality rises above 100 AQI (orange level), we will ask volunteers to stay at home and participate only when it is safe to do so. Cleanup supplies (including medical sharps containers) will be available to check out for free through the NEC’s Lending Library. For more tips on how to conduct a safe and successful cleanup, check out our Safe Cleanups Guide.

Citizen Science and Data Collection

Citizen science is a very important part of Coastal Programs at the NEC, and Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Month is a perfect opportunity to collect data about the trash we see on our streets and beaches. 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 you found 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? 

Citizen Science Resources:

Volunteer Prizes

We are so appreciative of our Coastal Cleanup Month volunteers that this year we are offering a chance for participants to win prizes! Every volunteer who signs in at a cleanup will be entered into a weekly raffle where they can win fun prizes. One cleanup = one raffle entry, so if you attend multiple cleanups in one week you can increase your odds of winning! Follow the NEC on Facebook or Instagram to learn about the weekly prizes being offered.

Support Coastal Cleanup Month

Coastal Cleanup Month is one of the largest cleanup events of the year. The Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) is Humboldt County’s Coastal Cleanup Coordinator and each year we inspire hundreds of volunteers to pick up thousands of pounds of trash around our community. This September, community members will have the opportunity to participate in cleanups every weekend of the month for a chance to win prizes and collect valuable data on local trash patterns. 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.

Have Questions?

Email our Coastal Programs Coordinator at