Coast Now 591,743 Pounds Cleaner

Sunday, Sep 18, 2011  |  Updated 8:21 AM PDT
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Coast Now 591,743 Pounds Cleaner

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Californians turned out by the tens of thousands Saturday to help in this year's California Coastal Cleanup day. They scoured shorelines and beaches at 800 locations and gathered hundreds of tons of trash.

Here are the totals: 62,963 volunteers picked up 523,201 pounds of trash plus another 68,542 pounds of recyclable materials.
    Last year on California Coastal Cleanup Day, volunteers pulled  more than 172 tons of trash and recyclables -- including 48,000 plastic bags  -- from the Bay and its waterways, according to data collected by some 26,000  volunteers who participated.
    Thousands of volunteers across the Bay Area descended on the region's beaches Saturday to participate in the restoration effort, which is also the state's largest volunteer event.
    Saturday marked the 27th annual cleanup event organized by the California Coast Commission.
    This week, Save The Bay -- the largest regional organization  working to protect and restore San Francisco Bay -- released its sixth annual  Bay Trash Hot Spots, which showcases five creeks and shoreline areas known to  be polluted with plastic bags, Styrofoam containers and other trash.
    Residents can vote for which location should be adopted by the  nonprofit, which will host a series of volunteer cleanups throughout next  year.
    An interactive map of the sites can be viewed at  www.saveSFbay.org/baytrash.
Among the spots now a bit cleaner is Oakland's coastline.
    Scouring a half-mile of shoreline near the Damon Slough, dozens of volunteers collected 60 bags of trash and large debris, said Amy Ricard,  spokeswoman for Save The Bay, the nonprofit that led the volunteers.
    The 1,000 pounds of trash collected included 500 plastic bags, 700  straws, 900 food wrappers, 500 cigarette filters and 1,350 plastic caps or  lids, Ricard said.
    The commonly littered items threaten water quality, public health  and Bay wildlife.
    The most unusual item collected during the three-hour cleanup that  ended at noon, she said, was a Mexican Consulate identification card.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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