Over 2,000 miles of coast and inland shoreline is cleaned up by hundreds of volunteers the third Saturday of September every year! Woohoo! The hubs and I have been participating in the Coastal Clean Up Day every year since we moved closer to the coast. Each year we choose a different beach along the Sonoma Coast to change it up.
This year, unfortunately, was the first time we found so much trash leftover from people partying on the beaches. Our beaches are small along the Sonoma Coast so there’s about 15-20 people at each of the beaches to clean up. This is a bit of overkill but is so awesome to see this many people willing to give up a Saturday and pick up other people’s trash. The hubs and I arrived a little early to Shell Beach to enjoy more of the experience at the beach. The group leader was right in front of us as we rolled into the parking lot which allowed us to get started a little early.
We completed the training, grabbed our buckets and put on our gloves then headed down the steps to Shell Beach. This is where we started feeling frustrated. Beer bottles, beer cans, water bottles, soda cans were littered all along the path. Seriously, there were trash cans less than 20 steps away. I have a difficult time understanding this. When we got down to the beach we were joined by a few more people. We headed south and covered ground in a uniform pattern. Broken glass bottles littered the sand. This is a family beach where kids go and play and waves crash hard and pull all of this out to the ocean.
We were very happy to find a large and healthy looking starfish hanging out on one of the rocks near the water line! These are more and more rare up here so when we get to see one the bosslady tends to get a little snap happy taking a ton of pics! 🙂 This was definitely the highlight of the clean up and truly shows the reason why we get out there and volunteer for the Coastal Clean Up Day every year.
Our bucket full and plenty of pics of the starfish we headed back up to the parking lot to check in with the leader. It was still early so we headed north on the Kortum Trail to see if there was any trash along the trail to be picked up. A few things here and there which is to be expected with the winds blowing wrappers and such out of bags. The fog disappeared and we had beautiful views of our gorgeous stretch of the coast.
All in all we had a good morning volunteering. It was so great to see parents participating in the Coastal Clean Up Day with their kids. Hoping this encourages them to spread the word with their friends and make the choice to put their trash in the provided places or pack it out.
OK, enough with the PSA. 🙂 Head on over to the Coastal Clean Up Day website to sign up for notifications for next year’s clean up or other ways you might want to volunteer!
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