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Volunteers Clean Up California Coastal Waters


Volunteers pulled trash from coastal waters last weekend and cleaned debris from beaches in 100 countries around the world. In Los Angeles one beachside community took to the water in kayaks as their part of the coastal cleanup.

Paddling out in colorful kayaks - small rowing craft based on an Eskimo design - 150 volunteers collected rubbish floating in a Los Angeles marina on Saturday.

“Get a little exercise, clean up, a good cause, feel like you're doing something global,” said Buzz Pierce, who was one of the volunteers.

Thousands of volunteers in coastal California joined hundreds of thousands in other countries for the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup.

Michelle Staffield of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation says there is more trash some years than others off the coast of Los Angeles.

“And we're always excited when there's less because it makes us feel like our effort is working,” she said.

Volunteer Shawn Alva says many people are careless with their trash.

“The cigarette butt thing is the most annoying just because it's not a giant ashtray, people," she said. "Come on.”

Volunteer Theresa Duenas says small pieces of debris are found throughout the bay.

“You see basically pieces of candy paper, and you can identify those pretty well because they're shiny,” she said.

Part of the cleanup took place in a sheltered inlet called Mother's Beach, where novice kayakers can safely get in the water.

Teacher North Moench came with a group of middle school students.

“This is a great place to learn how to kayak, gentle water, not much breeze, and a good activity as well,” he said.

Michelle Staffield says that keeping the coast clean is everybody's job.

“Reducing our use of debris that cannot be recycled, reusing as much as we possibly can, and then of course, recycling,” she said.

She says that then there may be no more need for coastal cleanups.
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