Registration for San Diego County’s largest cleanup of the year, Coastal Cleanup Day, is now open. I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) will lead the 32nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day as part of the International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ILACSD invites the community to participate locally by choosing from 108 sites where more than 8,000 San Diego-based volunteers will work alongside a half million volunteers worldwide. Volunteers of all ages and ability levels are welcome to register for a site of their choice at www.CleanupDay.org.

Although the name suggests that it is a beach cleanup, volunteer efforts will reach far beyond the coast. Nearly 75 percent of the cleanup sites are located inland along rivers, creeks, canyons, and urban areas where 80 percent of marine debris starts. Last year alone, volunteers removed 190,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County – the equivalent weight of 20 African elephants. It is crucial that this debris is removed as it is detrimental to the quality of life for San Diegans and marine life alike. Furthermore, following the cleanup, volunteers will feel empowered to continue to care for their beaches, waterways, canyons, and parks.

While litter removal is a large focus of the event, volunteers will also participate in beautification projects such as graffiti removal and replacing invasive species with drought-tolerant landscaping.  ILACSD and its volunteers work to preserve San Diego for current and future generations to enjoy. All community members are encouraged to take action in their neighborhood and enhance San Diego’s environment on Sept. 17.

In an effort to reduce waste produced by an event of this size, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers can pledge to bring at least one reusable item to the cleanup. When volunteers bring their own reusable water bottle, work gloves, and bucket to collect litter, they prevent thousands of single-use bags and disposable gloves from entering San Diego’s landfills. Volunteers have the option to pledge one or all three items when they register at www.CleanupDay.org.