No Butts in our Bay!

Last Saturday was the 30th Annual International Coastal Clean-Up Day—the world’s largest volunteer effort to clean up our oceans and waterways.

Think I’d let a golden opportunity like this pass me by? No way!

Think Global

Globally the day yielded a massive turnout with an astounding 648,015 volunteers in 92 countries picking up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash along nearly 13,000 miles of coastline. If you’re really into it, you can read the full 2014 Trash Free Seas Report.

Coastal Clean UpTop 10 Countries participating:

  1. U.S.
  2. Philippines
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Canada
  5. Peru
  6. Ecuador
  7. Venezuela
  8. Dominican Republic
  9. Mexico
  10. India


Act Local

To celebrate in my own hood, I headed out with my buddies from REI to join Save the Bay in their clean-up efforts. See, the marshes lining San Francisco’s famous bay attract trash and dirt, sort of like a bathtub ring. Gross!

So this is where we spent our time as a group, picking out trash that had floated out from the storm drains of the city. What this meant is that we were weeding out urban garbage – like hypodermic needles and dime bags and fast food containers. Detritus to be sure.

Team Erin-Aura-VanWhile participation was down a tad from last year, Californians overall still made a valiant effort:

  • Number of Volunteers in Cali: 54,124 (100 with my local group)
  • Pounds of trash collected in Cali: 576,571
  • Pounds of recyclables collected in Cali: 109,494

Our local group also had a “No Butts in our Bay” competition going on. Each team was challenged to find the most. The winner? 702 collected by 1 team! (Not mine rad team christened Erin-Aura-Van. Instead we were concentrating on the small colorful bits of plastic that fish and aquatic animals eat.)

Best bit of trash found that day? A pair of brand new bronze strappy high heels. Although personally I liked the dirty Bart Simpson doll…

Eager Beaver

Being the over-achiever that I am, I decided to get a head-start on my coastal clean-up duties, volunteering with the Marin County Parks out on Kent Island two weeks earlier. That day a group of about 10 of us spent the day weeding out non-indigenous species (basically weeding).

We spent the day at this picturesque island in the center of Bolinas Lagoon. Kent Island is a rich habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl especially. Located on the Pacific Flyway, it’s also an important wintering area for scores of birds and provides habitat for breeding colonies of herons and egrets.

Here’s the scoop straight from Ranger Greg:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Ranger Greg at Kent Island

Save the Date: Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Don’t want y’all to miss out on all the fun next year! Follow Ocean Conservancy to stay up to date!

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 and is filed under Adventure Philanthropists.

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