Recent toasty temperatures have sent SoCalers to our beaches in need-to-cool-down droves. But we don't wait for a heat wave 'round these parts to seek out ocean, rivers, and lakes; you can find fans down on the sand even when it is foggy and drizzling.
There's no ticket window at the ocean; we're free to enjoy it all we like, as much as we like, but there are ways to show our gratitude to both the Big Water and our co-earthlings (this includes humans and birds and other critters, of course). Exhibit A? We can join California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual pitch-in-everybody affair that lands at just around the time summer makes way for autumn.
That's Saturday, Sept. 19 in 2015, and thousands of volunteers will be out, up and down the coast, and along the banks of our inland waterways, too. They'll find tires and plastic bags and random wrappers, and all of the accumulated litter and recycled goods will tip the scales, impressively.
If such a scale were big enough to weigh the whole lot. Some "1,190,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways" were scooped up by 67,000 people who pitched in for a morning.
That's right, 67,000 people. This event happens to be the "largest volunteer event" in the Golden State.
The Ocean Conservancy helms the larger International Coastal Cleanup happening, so while we're bending down and throwing cans in buckets, we'll know that people across the globe are doing the same. It's one water, when you think about it, and if you prefer to think of distinct lakes and rivers and oceans, then consider that it's one planet.
Need to find a cleanup near you? The California Coastal Commission can help out on that. Some 116 events are happening just in the greater Los Angeles region alone, with hundreds more fanning out across the state.
It's a nice thing that this spiffy-up day always occurs just after the busy summer season, when the thermometer is extra-red and many of us are at the water with all of our stuff.
Getting a lot of the stuff out of the ocean and waterways -- over a million pounds of it -- during an all-hands-on-deck morning in September is the right thing to do.