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Volunteers hit area beaches and inland waterways for annual Coastal Cleanup Day

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By Andrea Papagianis

With the results in from California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest one-day volunteer event, over 50,000 participants statewide gathered more than 251 tons, or 501,000 pounds, of trash and recyclables from inland waterways and beaches.

“Coastal Cleanup Day is always an incredible celebration of out coastal and aquatic environments,” said Eben Schwartz, marine debris program manager for the California Coastal Commission. “Tens of thousands of volunteers have proven once again what a treasure the California coast really is.”

Local volunteers answered the cleanup call and took to the OC Dana Point Harbor, Doheny State Beach, Salt Creek Beach Park, San Juan Creek and Capistrano Beach Park to rid the areas of debris.

“It was an incredible day of education for children and adults,” said Penny Elia, site captain of the Harbor’s annual cigarette butt round-up. “Until you actually pick up thousands of cigarette butts, you don’t realize their impact.”

Volunteers even dipped below the Harbor’s surface as certified divers collected more than 1,500 pounds of trash and lost items from the B Dock.

Highlighting work being done to rid the California coastline of trash, a special film event, a presentation of the documentary Heroes of the Coast, will be held at the Ocean Institute on Tuesday, October 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will benefit the annual clean-up day and the Surfrider Foundation’s southern coast chapter. Tickets are available for $15 for adults or $ 5 for students, by visiting, heroescoastsoc.eventbrite.com.

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