Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day a Success!

At the NEC's Samoa Beach Zero Waste cleanup, we had 217 volunteers and cleaned over 1000 lbs of debris. Photo: Megan Bunday.
At the NEC’s Samoa Beach Zero Waste cleanup, we had 217 volunteers and cleaned over 1000 lbs of debris. Photo: Megan Bunday.

On Saturday September 21, the Northcoast Environmental Center held it’s first ever Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day and it was a smashing success! The NEC’s Coastal Programs Coordinator Casey Cruikshank organized Coastal Cleanup Day for Humboldt County. With almost 40 sites around the county, so far we’ve had 1,160 volunteers report back to us with almost two tons of waste removed from our local coastlines and waterways! This is the largest cleanup we’ve had in recent history—fantastic job Humboldt County! One of the sites was hosted by the NEC at Samoa Beach where 217 enthusiastic volunteers showed up ready to clean! Groups were dispatched all the way down Samoa Beach. Over 1,000 pounds of trash were removed from this area alone!

NEC's Zero Waste cleanup featured reusable bags and buckets. Photo: Megan Bunday.
NEC’s Zero Waste cleanup featured reusable bags and buckets. Photo: Megan Bunday.

Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day is not only about waste removal, it also about education and data collection. All supplies provided for Coastal Cleanup Day this year were zero waste. The bags and buckets were donated by the California Native Plant Society, Redwood Curtain Brewery, and the Northcoast Co-op. Reusable gloves were donated by Pierson’s, all of the event t-shirts were donated by local thrift stores, and the t-shirts were printed at a local thrift shop.

The site captains diligently to encouraged their participants to fill out data cards at their cleanups. The NEC is currently sorting through hundreds of these data cards to gather pertinent information on local plastics. The information is then reported to the Ocean Conservancy to add to the world-wide debris data collection.

The NEC is hoping to keep up this fantastic momentum by encouraging Humboldt County to get out and clean our beaches year-round! Our ongoing Coastal Programs make it easy for community members to get involved and host their own cleanups. We have a cleanup lending library where we loan out trash pickers, buckets, bags, hazardous waste containers, and other items needed to host a successful cleanup. Visit our website to learn more about how to get involved with our sustaining programs.

Cleanup volunteers gather pallets and other waste. Photo: Megan Bunday.

The Northcoast Environmental Center would like to thank each and every person who participated in Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day. It has been a long time goal of ours to gather over 1,000 volunteers in the county and this year, WE DID IT! Give yourselves a pat on the back and keep an eye out for upcoming cleanups!

Thank You!


Many Thanks to our Site Captains!

The following is a list of sites for which data had been submitted by the time of EcoNews printing:

Casey Cruikshank, Northcoast Environmental Center – Samoa Beach
Ashley Donnell, HSU Men’s and Women’s rowing – Eureka Waterfront @ Halvorsen Park
Jenny Rushby, Coastal Grove Charter School – Mad River County Beach
Olivia Santangini, Papa & Barkley – Mad River County Beach
Malia Freedlund, Mattole School – Mattole Estuary/ Petrolia Beach
Suzie Fortner, Friends of the Dunes – Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, Manila
Maggy Herbelin – Eureka Waterfront @ Eureka Marina
Suzanne McClurkin-Nelson – Moonstone County Park Beach
Cindy Woods – St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Clam Beach County Park North
Katie Terhaar, Humboldt Skin Divers – Underwater at Trinidad Pier/Harbour
Jessy Carlson – Arcata Bay Trail
Ben Morehead, Trinidad Coastal Land Trust – Camel Rock/ Houda Point & Luffenholtz
Ryan Call – Agate Beach
Jenny – Eureka Waterfront at Hilfiker
Bonnie Kuhn, Caltrans – Eureka Public Marina and Wharfinger Building 1 Marina Way
Jessie Misha, Surfrider Humboldt – Trinidad State Beach
Shannon Diaz – Arcata Marsh
George Ziminsky – Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary
Natalie Faris, Soilscape Solutions – Little River State Beach
Ryan Van Lenning – Wild Nature Heart – Mad River Bluffs Trail
Stephanie Strasser, Trinidad School – Trinidad State Beach
Josie Brown – Lost Coast Camp – King Salmon
Pam Halstead – Volunteer Trails Stewards – Eureka Waterfront Trail
Danielle Foreman – Pacific Union – Pacific Union School to Chevret-Vaissade Park
Kiya Villarreal, North Coast Co-op – Eureka Waterfront at Del Norte Street
Carla Osborn – Manila Beach at Community Center
Heather Brown – South Jetty
Ginny Hosrick – South Clam Beach
Robert Thoman – Elk River Slough
Carol Mone – Old Home Beach & Scenic Drive
Kim Tays – Beach south of Kuechel Visitor Center
Jasmine Segura, Humboldt Baykeeper – Indian Island
Eureka High School – Eureka High School campus


Graphic of 2019 Coastal Cleanud Day sponsor logos

We would like to send a huge thank you over to the local people who made Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day (ZWCCD) a success. Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors: Pierson’s, Papa & Barkley, Coast Seafoods, Eel River Organics, Soilscape Soluitions, Tri Counties Bank, Coast Central Credit Union, North Group Sierra Club, Samara Restoration and Simply Macinosh. Thank you to our local artist, Mir de Silva, whose art we proudly displayed in all of our ZWCCD media. Gordie the Godwit will live on in infamy as the face of the very first Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day! Thank you to the DANCO, BLM, and Humboldt sanitation for donating dumpsters. Thank you to the local thrift stores who generously donated all of the thrifted t-shirts for the event: Rescue Mission, American Cancer Society, Tailwaggers, Angels of Hope, Clothing Doc and Miranda’s Rescue. Thank you to Maverick and Haywood for donating a large portion of the printing costs for the event t-shirts and for working with us to print on thrifted t-shirts.

And Extra Special Thanks to:

The Northcoast Environmental Center
would like to formally thank two
Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day Heros!
Special thanks to
Jill Duffy at Humboldt Waste Management Authority
Linda Wise at Recology
for swooping in and saving the day after a last minute dumpster snafu!
Without the above and beyond generous donations from these two businesses, Coastal Cleanup Day participants would have to pay to dispose of the waste they removed from our waterways.
This year, Recology donated eight of the 11 dumpsters allocated for Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day, while Humboldt Area Waste Management waived all of the dumping fees!
These donations allowed Humboldt County volunteers to remove as much waste as possible, free of charge.