Volunteering

Join ‘California Coastal Cleanup Day' and keep our beaches looking swell

The "state's largest annual volunteer event" will visit several different water-close sites, including rivers, lakes, and creeks.

A woman helps clean up the city.
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What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 23
  • California Coastal Cleanup Day will visit several locations around the state; prospective volunteers can sign up at the site
  • Volunteers will clean up Ballona Creek Bike Path, Huntington City Beach, Santa Clara River Gateway, and dozens of other locations in 2023

So many mythical and magical plot points and story twists occur where the land meets the water.

Surprised humans encounter supernatural guides, strange new worlds are born, and the sorts of enchanted activities that require a bit of earth and H2O spring up, time and again, in such pretty points of interest.

But we don't need to look to our favorite novels to find this magic: We know that our shores, banks, and beaches are powerful places, the locations we return to when we want to reconnect with our daydreams, our hopes, or just a little well-deserved peace.

It's important to keep these enchanted idylls in the most stellar shape possible, something that visitors can help do throughout the year.

But on one special Saturday in September, thousands of people will swing by a beloved water-adjacent area, all to remove litter, connect with other supporters, and play a crucial role in the "state's largest annual volunteer event."

It's California Coastal Cleanup Day, a major and majorly helpful undertaking overseen by the Californian Coastal Commission.

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For sure, plenty of beaches will see groups of volunteers, but so will creeks, rivers, lakes, and other natural draws that may or may not boast a splashy scene.

"It's a chance for everyone in our state, no matter where they live, to help clean up trash from our environment before the rains come and wash it out to the coast and ocean," is the urgent call to action.

"Participating is easy! Please check the map below for the cleanup site you want to join. All the information you need is located within each pin on the map."

Want to find a volunteer meet-up near where you live? That's as easy as a wave breaking on the shore. Want to venture to a beach you grew up going to or return to a lake where you made some great memories? Sign up and let organizers know you'll be there.

There are a few steps, such as filling out the waiver, and you'll want to know what supplies to show with; there will be supplies at the sites "if needed."

Trabuco Canyon is one 2023 site, and Lake Balboa, too, while Heal the Bay will be organizing several events along the coast. For the full map and all of the details, click.

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