This weekend, join the ranks for California’s largest annual volunteer event. Coastal Cleanup day always happens on the third Saturday of September. Everyone from families and friends, to student groups and neighbors, pick up debris along beaches, lakes, and waterways.

The event is celebrating its 27th year. It originated in Oregon in 1984, and California caught on the following year. Over 2,500 participants attended the initial clean up. Last year, over 82,500 volunteers helped clean up the State’s coast and waterways. In 1993, The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Coastal Cleanup as the largest garbage collection ever organized.

The event isn’t just about picking up trash. Volunteers are asked to record the debris they remove to contribute to the Ocean Conservancy’s international database. This information is used to help prevent future debris problems.  Last year, volunteers removed over 1.2 million pounds of trash.

Locally, San Francisco has different opportunities to serve on Coastal Cleanup day. If you live closer to the east side of the city contact the Literacy For Environmental Justice, [email protected]. If you live on the west side, contact the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at [email protected].  The event starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their own gloves and trash collecting bins, but extras will be available on site.  The event couldn’t be possible without the help of each and every volunteer, so go donate three hours of your time and help protect our waterways.

Photo Credit:POD