Tag Archives: Coastal Cleanup

Coastal Cleanup Day: Sep 21, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACalifornia Coastal Cleanup Day may be the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world.  This year’s slogan is “Help make trash extinct”!  You can help reach this goal and contribute to citizen science while enjoying a day of fresh air and heart-filled service to the environment . . . and who doesn’t love beach-combing?

1. McNear’s Beach, 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael (among scores of locations around the Bay Area), a lovely bayside park overlooking the northern bay.
2. Damon Marsh, MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline,  a 741-acre park protecting the remainder of a once-extensive marshland at San Leandro Bay.  The park includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Grove, completed with community support and dedicated in 1993.  The 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh is a stop-over on the Pacific Flyway and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

When:  Sat, Sep 21, 9am – noon.  Cleanup starts with a brief orientation and safety talk.  Come early even if you can’t stay the whole three hours.

McNear’s Beach includes about one mile of shoreline, and is a relatively well-cared-for beach, but in 2012 we still managed to collect 91 pounds of trash and 6 pounds of recyclables!

More about McNear’s Beach here.


  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes
  • Hat and other sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (no single-use plastic, please!)
  • Jacket in case of wind

Also bring your own reusable supplies if possible, to help cut down on waste and save funds.  This could mean a bucket, trash bags, and gloves if you have.

Directions to McNear’s:  Drive out Point San Pedro Road from central San Rafael; signs will show you the park entrance.  Tell the ranger you’re volunteering with the beach cleanup, then park at the far (northerly) end of the lot.  We’ll be at the picnic tables by the snack bar.  Beach captain:  Maeve Murphy (455-9577).  Click here for a map.  Please consider biking, public transport, or carpooling to the site with your friends. Volunteers who drive to the cleanup can park for free (the normal weekend fee is $10 per car); just tell the rangers at the entrance that you’re a CCC Day volunteer.

You are invited to the Bay Model in Sausalito for an after-cleanup barbecue. To prevent waste, please BYO plate, cup, and eating utensils as only throw-aways are provided.

Shay Jensen on his way

Directions to Damon Marsh: 

·  If you’re driving on 880 take the 66th Ave/Zhone Way exit and turn toward the airport (west).

·  Drive to Oakport St and turn R (there will be a sign at the intersection).

·  Proceed ¼ miles and on the L side you will see a yellow gate and signs.

·  Go through the yellow gate and follow the signs down the entrance road to the parking area.

·  Sign-in area is by Damon Marsh Trail.

More information and additional sites listed by the California Coastal Commission here:  California Coastal Cleanup Day.



Coastal Cleanup success!

Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday September 15, 2012:

At McNear’s Beach in San Rafael we had a great turnout for the largest volunteer event in California:  80 volunteers, breaking last year’s record of 55 by a wide margin!  Participants included Cub Scout pack 53, the Tam 4-H Club, whole families, and lots of other local folks who care about their beaches and Bay and the wildlife they are home to.

McNear’s is a popular and pretty well-cared-for beach and picnic area, but our dogged volunteers still managed to find 41 pounds of trash (about four large trash bags’ worth) and 6 pounds of recyclables.  When Ranger Jim showed up in his motorized cart with a 50-pound piece of dumped cyclone gate, the grand total came to 91 pounds!

Some of the more distinctive items among the 1790 individual bits collected:

– Eight-inch drill bit
– Easter egg
– Candle
– Nail file
– Cassette tape
– Plastic flower
– Ear bud

Shay Jensen on his way to clean the beach

The remaining litter tally:

408 food wrappers/containers
288 pieces of fishing line
212 plastic bags/pieces
135 cigarettes and filters
87 plastic eating utensils
75 caps or lids
58 paper bags/pieces
51 unidentifiable bits of plastic
49 glass beverage bottles/pieces
43 glass fragments
34 pieces of rope
27 plastic beverage bottles
27 metal beverage cans
27 pieces of polystyrene  foam
25 pull tabs
23 toys
22 pieces of paper
19 pieces of tissue
19 pieces of fishing net
17 balloons
17 straws and stirrers
16 pieces of plastic sheeting/tarp
15 pieces of wire
14 pieces of tape
13 items of clothing
11 strapping bands
10 cigar tips
7 shotgun shells/wadding
7 fishing lures/light sticks
7 pieces of building material
5 condoms
5 medical gloves
4 hair ties
4 pieces of fabric
3 combs
2 each of:
bait containers/packaging
tampons/tampon applicators
cigarette lighters
tobacco packaging/wrappers
dental floss
1 each of:
piece of medical gauze
garden pot
fishing hook

Whew! And let’s not forget the six pounds of recyclables we recovered, which will not end up in landfill.

It was striking how much less Styrofoam (a subset of plastic) was found compared to last year (580 pieces).  Could the increasing number of businesses switching to non-polystyrene food takeout containers be making a very real difference?

Thanks to Rangers Dan and Jim and their colleagues for helpfully supplying buckets and litter pickers, and the other ways they supported our efforts.  And a big thanks to all the volunteers who showed up with buckets, gloves, and their enthusiasm: you helped beautify McNear’s and make it safer for wildlife, while contributing to citizen science.  We salute you!