Chance to Help – Annual Coastal Cleanup Saturday

Volunteers are encouraged to pitch in for three hours Saturday to help clean up the Berkeley shoreline, Marina and mouths of three creeks as part of the annual Coast Cleanup Day. Register at 9 a.m. at University Ave. and Frontage Rd.

Volunteers at the 2012 Coastal Cleanup Day. Photo courtesy of the Clean Water Program of Alameda County
Volunteers at the 2012 Coastal Cleanup Day. Photo courtesy of the Clean Water Program of Alameda County
Published Sept. 19, 2013, 11:44 p.m.; updated Sept. 20, 10:39 a.m.

Volunteers are wanted for the annual California Coastal Cleanup on Saturday in communities up and down the coast, including Berkeley.

Those who wish to help pick up trash from the Berkeley shoreline, Marina and mouths of three creeks are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the staging area located behind the Seabreeze Market at the corner of University and Frontage Rd., according to the City of Berkeley shoreline cleanup web page. The event goes until noon, and registration closes at 10:30.

Groups of 10 or more must register in advance by calling 510-981-6720. Individuals and smaller groups can just show up. All participants must sign a waiver.

The city provided the following details on what to bring and what to expect:


Please use these waivers if you are bringing children under 18 here to do a cleanup, please have their parents sign the CHILDREN'S WAIVER form for the day of your cleanup. All children must be accompanied by an adult.  We will also have waivers available on the day of the Cleanup. If you would like to download a waiver to clean-up at Aquatic Park here it is. Aquatic Park child Cleanup waiver 


9:00 a.m. Registration and Orientation

  • Everyone is encouraged to start at 9 a.m., registration will close at 10:30, so get an early start.
  • All groups and individuals unless other wise informed, should meet at the Berkeley staging area located behind the Seabreeze Market at the corner of University and Frontage Rd. Here, everyone needs to sign waivers, receive safety information, and get directions to the various clean-up locations.
  • We are asking everyone to bring their own reusable gloves and buckets. We do not want to generate more trash doing the clean-up than we actually pick up! But if you forget, that's okay-- we will give you trash/recycle bags, pencils, tally cards and a map of the areas we need to clean. Waste reduction plays an important role in helping to keep the City's shorelines clean and achieve our Climate Action Plan goals. 

    Noon: Cleanup Ends! At this point, turn in your tally cards at the main staging area and show us your most unusual items for judging. Each person who turns in the completed data card will get a coupon for a free meal at Chipotle,  ticket to be part of our raffle,  which starts by 12:15. Great Items are donated by local merchants- If you would like to donate, let us know. 


Berkeley coordinates with the cities of Albany and Emeryville to clean up the 14 1/2 mile stretch along the East Bay shoreline. 
Join the Emery Bay Coastal Clean-up: Meet 9:00 a.m. at 2333 Powell St., Emeryville. Bring sunscreen, hat, closed shoes, gloves, water. Bring your own bags (or buckets)! Free snacks, and beverages are provided (also gloves and bags, if you can't bring your own). Prizes from local businesses. Invite friends, family, co-workers for a fun, feel-good morning. Call 510-596-3795, or email mgreenhut@emeryville.org for more info.
For the Albany Shoreline Clean-up, meet at 9:00 a.m. at the foot of Buchanan behind the Golden Gate fields race track. Bring rakes or sand sifters for the small plastic particles in the sand, drinking water,and gloves. For more information call the Watershed project 510 788-0897. Groups of 10 or more please pre register. Contact Martha at Martha@thewatershedproject.org


The International Shoreline Cleanup is in its 29th year and takes place once a year, all over the world.

We will be picking up trash that comes down our creeks into the Bay and then into the Ocean. The clean-up locations are chosen  depending on where the tides and currents blow the trash  onto the shoreline.These areas of the Bay are like  a big dirty bathtub ring. Typically, 80% of the litter we pick up comes from inland, not the ocean. Some of the shoreline  areas we are cleaning are part of the East shore State Park, which extends along the shoreline between Emeryville and Richmond. The clean-up provides a wonderful, empowering reason to connect the cities, to make a difference and to explore the unique shoreline areas. We encourage neighbors to do community service to clean up the Aquatic Park.  

In Berkeley alone, volunteers spent three hours stuffing garbage bags full of 16,123 cigarette filters, 12,057 caps and lids. 11,103 plastic food wrappers or containers, 7,497 bags, 6,334 straws or stirrers, and 3,187 assorted cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons to name the top 6 nastiest items. This year we were not able to count all the pieces of plastic or Styrofoam, there are too many! The data we collect gets send to the Ocean Conservancy in Washington D.C.
In 2011 for the Cities of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville 1,388 people cleaned 14 miles of shoreline and they picked up over 6,113 pounds of trash and 588 pounds of recyclables.

The clean-up is is sponsored by organizations and government agencies such as the California Coastal Commission. You can also visit the Commission at www.coast4u.org.  

In Oakland, the organization Save the Bay is conducting a clean-up at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline. Save the Bay has an ongoing campaign to rid the bay shores of cigaret butts. The group says cigaret butts are the number one item picked up and constitute 40 percent of trash collected.

Now in its 29th year, the event – known also as the International Shoreline Clean Up – has become an impressive demonstration of combined citizen action to remove a lot of trash.

The California Coastal Commission estimates that 4,062 volunteers in Alameda County collected over 46,000 pounds of debris last year, and the Watershed Project says California as a whole saw 57,500 volunteers pick up more than 600,000 pounds of trash.


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