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Beach cleanups in the Bay Area

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2023

With summer slowly coming to a close, many Norcal residents are trying to squeeze in a few more beach trips before the weather gets a bit colder. Before fall approaches, we can show our appreciation to nearby beaches by participating in beach cleanups on the coast. Not only is this a great service to the environment, but it’s also a great way to get outside and meet others passionate about preserving the environment. 

Surfrider Foundation

The SF Surfrider Foundation is a great organization to check for ways to get involved. Their mission is to reduce plastic pollution, protect the oceans, provide clean water and ensure overall coastal health. 

Sept. 16 is International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD), and many organizations will be hosting beach cleanups nationwide. On Sept. 16 at Baker Beach, there is a cleanup from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. You can sign up via their website and all you need to bring is a pair of gloves and a bucket! They also have monthly meetings for residents and one large cleanup every month that residents are free to participate in.

California Coastal Commission

Sept. 23 is California’s annual beach cleanup day. It is an opportunity for people to participate in cleaning up beaches all across the state. For those that go to UC Berkeley, there are even cleanups near the Berkeley Marina, so you don’t need to go too far. If you look at the California Coastal Commission’s website, they have an interactive map to find a beach cleanup near you.

Save our Shores

Save our Shores is another organization that is dedicated to keeping shorelines clean in the Monterey Bay region. If you are closer to Santa Cruz, this is a perfect organization to check out and get involved in a beach cleanup. They have cleanups every couple of weekends, so be sure to check out their website!

No organization? No problem!

If you want to take part in a beach cleanup, but can’t find an organization near you, a time that works or just want to do it solo, that works too! Make sure to bring a pair of gloves and a bucket. Gloves are super important because bacteria can grow on the trash at the beach, so it is important to stay healthy when participating. When disposing of the trash, make sure to not throw it in any overflowing bins as wind may just carry it away. 

Nothing is worse than heading to the beach to enjoy a nice day and seeing trash accumulating on the shoreline. In order to take steps to mitigate us from having to go back to clean trash, we can follow precautionary measures to reduce the amount of trash that may end up on sandy shores.

First, reduce straw use and bring reusable bags to the supermarket. Reusable bottles instead of plastic water bottles are also a simple swap. One swap that many don’t consider is using matches instead of lighters, which remain in landfills for years. 

For Berkeley students, Ocean Society at Berkeley is one student organization dedicated to preserving nature’s oceans. For residents of Norcal, the above organizations also offer meetings, donations and more volunteer opportunities than the ones mentioned. Be sure to check them out, and whenever at the beach, pick up some trash to participate and set an example for those around you.


Contact Ashley Carter at 


SEPTEMBER 11, 2023