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Help Beautify Your Local Topanga Beach on National Beach Cleanup Day

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Topanga Beach National Coastal Cleanup Day! FREE Yoga & Raffle  
Published August 4, 2022, at 10:30 a.m.

OVERDUE is teaming up with the Topanga New Times, The Well Refill store, and other partners to clean up our Topanga Beach on Sunday, September 18, for the national Coastal Cleanup Day!

18700 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu (Meet at the lifeguard station)

Free parking on PCH, Topanga Canyon Blvd, or paid parking on PCH

Sunday (9/18) Schedule:
8:30 AM: Free Yoga session
9 AM - 10 AM: Cleanup
10 AM: Raffle winner announcement

Appropriate Attire:
Wear bright colors and closed-toe shoes! We strongly recommend using gardening gloves, rather than plastic disposable gloves. Don't forget to wear sunscreen - rain or shine!

BYO water bottle, yoga mat/towel, gloves, and a grabber.

Will provide garbage bags. Some grabbers will be available to borrow - first come first serve. Additional grabbers sold on site for $20.

Please note that there is one beach wheelchair for rent at Topanga Beach, located at end of lower lot on Topanga Beach Drive, on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the nearest open lifeguard tower for assistance. More information here.

Click here to learn more and to RSVP for the Topanga Beach Cleanup.

Click here to find other Cleanup Day events across the state. 

The History of Coastal Cleanup Day 

California Coastal Cleanup Day was first organized by the Coastal Commission, but the idea of a statewide cleanup event did not come from California. In 1984, Oregon resident Judy Neilson had grown concerned over the amount of plastic debris she saw littering the Oregon coast. In October of that year, Judy organized the first statewide beach cleanup event, calling it the "Plague of Plastics." California watched, admired, and in 1985, emulated Judy's efforts with its first statewide Coastal Cleanup Day.

Close to 2,500 Californians joined in the initial Cleanup, and the program has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. In 1986, The Ocean Conservancy (then known as the Center for Marine Conservation) ran its first Coastal Cleanup in Texas, and in later years became the coordinating agency for the International Coastal Cleanup, helping to spread the concept to nations around the world.

In 1993, California Coastal Cleanup Day was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, with 50,405 volunteers. Since then, the reach of Coastal Cleanup Day has steadily spread inland. Most of the marine debris that we find on our beaches actually starts as urban trash or street litter, so this continuing effort to “stop trash where it starts” has actually increased the amount of trash picked up per person each year. 

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Many people assume that if trash exists in the ocean, it must be that the fishing and shipping industries are to blame. But in fact, only 20% of the items found in the ocean can be linked to ocean-based sources, like commercial fishing vessels, cargo ships (discharge of containers and garbage), or pleasure cruise ships.

The remainder (80%) is from land-based sources, like litter (from pedestrians, motorists, beach visitors), industrial discharges (often in the form of plastic pellets and powders), and garbage management (ill-fitting trash can lids, etc).

There is growing research about plastic debris too small to be caught by existing filters being discharged by water treatment systems. This debris may take the form of microbeads (added to some personal care products as exfolients) rinsed down drains, or synthetic fibers from clothing or other items that are laundered. A recent study of the San Francisco Bay found that eight waste water treatment plants discharged an average of 490,000 particles of microplastic per day into the Bay.

Coastal Cleanup Day is about much more than picking up trash. It’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing their respect for our oceans and waterways. It’s an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its desire for clean water and healthy marine life. And it’s a moment to share with one’s neighbors, family, and friends, coming together to accomplish something vital and worthy on behalf of our environment.

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