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California Coastal Cleanup Day preps for 25th anniversary

Save the date: Sept. 19

Posted: July 2, 2009 9:02 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2009 11:00 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Coastal Commission is proud to announce that the state's biggest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day, is preparing to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.

The 25th Annual Cleanup, sponsored by the Coastal Commission and Whole Foods Market, will take place at more than 750 locations around the state on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Cleanup is one of the State's premier volunteer activities, annually bringing tens of thousands of volunteers to the state's beaches and inland shorelines to remove the debris that has accumulated over the course of the year.

The Coastal Commission and its many partners around the state will be launching a number of initiatives during the summer to highlight the 25th Anniversary and to encourage even more volunteers to turn out on September 19.

One of these initiatives is a continued push into inland California in an attempt to launch cleanup activities in all 58 of California's counties (Cleanups currently take place in 45 counties). Several areas have already responded to this call, including a new effort by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to complement Coastal Cleanup Day with a "Great Sierra Cleanup" that will encompass all of the Sierra Nevada counties.

"We want Coastal Cleanup Day to be an opportunity for every Californian to feel their connection to our coast, no matter where they may live," said Eben Schwartz, Outreach Manager for the California Coastal Commission. "By pushing the Cleanup into every corner of the state, we can clean up a lot of trash before it has a chance to reach our ocean, and in doing so, bind every Californian to one another through our collective stewardship."

Returning Presenting Sponsor Whole Foods market will also be undertaking efforts to promote the silver anniversary of the Cleanup. In addition to publicizing the effort in all of their northern California stores throughout the summer, Whole Foods Market is teaming up with new Coastal Cleanup Day sponsor Sunset Magazine to host a Celebration for the Coast in honor of the 25th anniversary.

The Celebration, which will take place at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, will provide an opportunity to reflect on the success the Cleanup has enjoyed over the past 25 years, to honor a selection of Coastal Heroes who will be featured in Sunset Magazine's September issue, and to look ahead and prepare for the next 25 years of Cleanups.

Many of the local non-profit organizations and government agencies who form the regional coordinators of the Cleanup will also be undertaking initiatives to build on the past success of the Cleanup. San Francisco's "Bring Your Own Bag" campaign, a partnership between Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, Literacy for Environmental Justice, and Sunset Scavenger designed to reduce plastic bag use during the 2008 Cleanup, proved so successful at reducing the number of bags thrown away at Ocean Beach during the Cleanup that it will be expanded to all locations in the city for the 2009 cleanup.

In Los Angeles, local partner Heal the Bay plans to launch a new initiative to identify the "trash hot spots" of Santa Monica Bay, and focus its efforts on those locations hardest hit by marine debris.

With these and other innovations in store, the 2009 cleanup will undoubtedly build on the success of past years' events. In 2008, 73,461 volunteers turned out to Coastal Cleanup Day, a 20 percent jump over 2007 and a 46 percent jump in volunteers over the past two years. Last year's volunteers removed a record 1.6 million pounds of debris, of which almost 200,000 pounds was recycled, both record numbers for the Cleanup Program.

The statewide event is presented by the California Coastal Commission and Whole Foods Market(R) with major statewide support from Crystal Geyser and Oracle. Additional support comes from Delta, Sunset Magazine, Nature's Path, and Aquarium of the Bay. Other sponsors include KPMG, See's Candies, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Whole Foods market vendor Natracare.

Northern California media sponsors include partner KFOG Radio and KPIX/CW Bay Area TV. Northern California media support also comes from the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Marin County Board of Supervisors, and the city of Santa Rosa.

Southern California media sponsors include KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV.

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2009 is supported by the California Coastal Commission, California State Parks Foundation and the Ocean
Conservancy. This event is made possible by the hard work of hundreds of local non-profits and government agencies throughout the state and tens of thousands of volunteers annually.


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