Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica's Heal the Bay Calls for Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers
By Lookout Staff
September 9, 2013 -- Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay is looking for volunteers for its annual coastal cleanup day, one of the largest volunteer days in the world, on September 21.
For three hours on Saturday, Heal the Bay is asking Californians to pitch in and remove as much pollution and debris from their beaches as possible.
“Trash in the ocean compromises human and wildlife health, which affects the livelihoods of millions all over the planet. We all need clean water,” Heal the Bay officials said. Every little piece of paper, cigarette butt or bottle cap that makes its way to street sewers ends up in streams or rivers and eventually down to the ocean.”
That's why, official say, the annual coastal cleanup day is vital.
“Last year in California alone, 62,668 volunteers participated in Coastal Cleanup Day,” Heal the Bay officials said. “Together, we removed over 728,289 pounds of trash and 143,291 pounds of recyclable waste from over 1,500 miles.”
Heal the Bay promises there are plenty of places and ways people can help.
“This year, we have nearly 50 cleanup sites spanning 1,500 miles through Los Angeles County, including Beach Sites, Dive Sites and Inland Sites,” officials said.
Santa Monica is home to four of those 50 sites, including the Santa Monica Pier dive site, reserved for volunteers who are certified divers.
“You are required to show up to the event with all of your own dive gear ready to go (rentals are fine), full tank, signed waiver and proof of DAN (divers alert network) insurance,” officials said.
This year, the Pier is in need of special attention after Heal the Bay gave the water in the area its lowest rating in years despite the City's attempts to keep it clean.
In a year's time, the water around the Santa Monica Pier has dropped from having an A grade to an F, according to Heal the Bay's website, leaving officials baffled as to the cause of the sudden downturn.
Santa Monica has three locations where volunteers can pitch. Volunteers can gather starting at 8:30 a.m. where Barnard Way meets the beach ( lifeguard tower 27), at the end of Bay Street (tower 20) or just north of the Pier.
Voluntering comes with a number of perks, including free admission to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and the chance to enter a raffle to win a paddleboard.
To sign up, see a list of cleanup sites and print out waiver, would-be volunteers can go here. Volunteers are instructed to bring their own materials, including buckets, gloves, water and snacks, though it isn't required.
“Don’t worry if you don’t have any of these supplies! We will provide them for you at the site. Bringing them just helps to create a 'greener' cleanup site,” officials said.
“Please wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting wet or a little sandy. Dress warmly and in layers, and be prepared for foggy or sunny weather,” officials warned. “Wear closed-toed shoes that can get wet or sandy. For beach sites: water shoes or an old pair of tennis shoes. For inland sites: galoshes or rubber boots are recommended.”
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