On Saturday, September 21, 2019, California's beaches, rivers, lakes, and other waterways will be visited by 70,000 people intent on having a positive impact on our environment. Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest volunteer event in California and is a part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place in 100 countries and 43 U.S. states. Your classroom or youth group can be a part of this monumental event!
Find a site hosting a cleanup on Saturday, September 21 on our Coastal Cleanup Day map. If you are unable to arrange for your students to get out to a shoreline cleanup on Saturday, you may be able to hold your event on Friday, September 20. Please contact your local county coordinator as early as possible to make arrangements. If you can't get out to a shoreline for a fieldtrip, you can do a Schoolyard Cleanup!
Find complete instructions on how to conduct a Schoolyard Cleanup as part of Coastal Cleanup Day, including lots of educational resources. Yes, you can still record your data and have it included in the Coastal Cleanup Day totals! If trash isn't picked up inland, it may find its way into a storm drain and then out to a waterway and eventually the ocean. Litter on land is future marine debris.
You can print out the California Coastal Cleanup Day posters for your school (available in multiple languages), as well as download graphics that can be used on websites and social media.
The information that follows will provide you with additional resources and activities to enrich Coastal Cleanup Day for your students. Please contact us with any comments or questions as you guide your students through this experience: (800) COAST4U; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please plan ahead to reduce the waste generated by your cleanup. Following a "Bring Your Own" philosophy will allow you to save plastic bags and gloves that would otherwise be used during trash pick-up. Assign your students to bring work gloves (if available) and an item from home to use in collecting small trash items. (Larger trash items would need to be carried in bags, or hauled separately.) Some ideas for containers include:
As containers are filled, dump them into a central collection site, such as a dumpster, trash can, or large trash bag. The items students brought from home can be recycled after the cleanup, or you can continue to reuse them by providing your students with potting soil and seeds to create a small wildflower or herb planter. Be sure to punch holes in the bottom first.
If your students are packing a lunch to eat during the cleanup, try to make it "trash free." This means that students will strive to include no disposable items in their lunches. (Be mindful of students who receive free and reduced-cost lunches at school, as it may not be within their control to pack a lunch. Presenting cafeteria waste reduction suggestions to the principal or superintendent may a good alternative if this is an issue for your students. If students receive lunch in disposable packaging, making a special point about recycling and composting all possible elements and placing remaining items very carefully in trash cans is a valuable exercise.) Some tips on packing a trash-free lunch:
Visit this Schoolyard Cleanup Program webpage for extensive
classroom lessons, informational links, recommended read-aloud books, videos, downloadable slideshows, and more.
Your students can create art or poetry based on their cleanup experience for the Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Below are a few questions to help encourage their creative process.