Arts & Life

8,500 pounds of trash removed during Coastal Cleanup Day 2022

California Coastal Clean-Up Day is an annual event that encourages citizens to pick up trash on their local beaches and streets. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sept. 17, thousands of people across the state gloved up and went to work. It was the 38th year in a row for the Coastal Commission event.

Bags, gloves, water and snacks were provided to those arriving at the beach. Families and small groups of people spread out across the beach in search of plastics and other debris that clog up the oceans, rivers, beaches and walkways.

Students gather around as the event comes to a close.
Students gather around as the event comes to a close. Photo credit: Natalie Salajczyk

Community organizer Justin Rudd presided over the 1 Granada Avenue gathering spot for the morning. It was 23 years ago when he first took an interest in the idea of a beach clean-up at this location along the coast.

“I used to teach fitness classes on the beach and we would be jumping over trash the whole time. I got sick of it and decided to start cleaning up the beach with members of my class. This year, my 30-minute clean up coincided with CA Coastal Clean-Up Day.”

Dumpster full of trash as the clean up progresses
Dumpsters fill up with trash as the clean up progresses. Photo credit: Natalie Salajczyk

LBSU was also represented in the clean-up effort. Corinne Garthoff from the student athletics department member was there with a group of LBSU women’s athletes including beach volleyball players, golfers, basketball players, and members of the track team.

“We do a lot of community outreach events including this one. This one is right up our alley, especially for our beach volleyball players who come and practice on these beaches almost every day,” Garthoff said.

Miss Long Beach 2022, Rubi Nunez, was also at the event welcoming newcomers and handing out supplies.

Miss Long Beach, Ms. Long Beach, Mrs. Southern California pose for the camera
Miss Long Beach, Ms. Long Beach, Mrs. Southern California attend the CA Coastal Cleanup 2022. Photo credit: Natalie Salajczyk

“I have been coming to this event for about 10 years. You see all ages here from little kids with their parents to elderly members of the community. It’s a great time,” said local resident Beverly Davis.

For those who missed out on Saturday’s event, there is still time to contribute. The CleanSwell app is a way to track and report clean ups on city streets, parks, beaches, or any area that needs attention.

Cleaning up neighborhood trash before it ends up on beaches will help prevent debris from reaching the seas. Reporting the types of trash found on the app helps scientists tackle the pollution problem on a global scale. Any trash collected during the month of September will count toward statewide clean up goals.

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