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November 2003

Californians Clean Up

San Francisco, CA— Tens of thousands of Californians scoured beaches, shorelines, and inland locations to pick up trash and debris, combing over 650 sites and collecting hundreds of tons of trash. These volunteers took part in the California Coastal Commission’s 19th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by The Ocean Conservancy. Beach and inland waterway cleanups took place up and down the California coast, from Mexico to the Oregon border, around San Francisco Bay, and at sites as far inland as Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea.

With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stands at 40,525 volunteers, who picked up 418,654 pounds of trash and an additional 64,286 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 482,940 pounds.

Past Coastal Cleanup Day data indicates that most (between 60-80%) of the debris on our beaches and shorelines comes from inland sources, traveling through storm drains out to the beaches and ocean. Rain-or even something as simple as hosing down a sidewalk-can wash cigarette butts, bits of styrofoam, pesticides, and oil into the storm drains and out to the ocean.

Results from last year: In 2002, 45,958 volunteers picked up 861,089 pounds of trash and recyclables statewide on Coastal Cleanup Day. For the eighteenth straight year, cigarette butts were the most common item found (over 305,000 were picked up in 2002).

The California Coastal Commission and hundreds of local non-profits and governmental agencies throughout the state coordinated the statewide event. Coastal Cleanup Day receives major sponsorship from Oracle and Reliant Energy. Statewide Sponsors include: Starbucks Coffee Company, Fetzer Vineyards, See’s Candies, Swatch, and Bank of America. Bay Area-specific sponsors include from Intel and KPMG.


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