Join Us for the 39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day! | Cal Parks
Published: September 20, 2023

Did you know that nearly every drop of water in California eventually finds its way to the ocean, carrying with it whatever it encounters along the way, including trash? This trash doesn't just disappear; it breaks down into smaller pieces, turning into microplastics that severely affect our marine life and ecosystems To combat this pressing issue, we invite you to participate in the 39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on September 23, 2023. 

What is California Coastal Cleanup Day?  

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the state's largest annual volunteer event. Because of the vital issue of trash flowing into our oceans, the California Coastal Commission has organized the day in partnership with many non-governmental organizations, including California State Parks Foundation, and local government partners around the state. A part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer event on the planet, California Coastal Cleanup Day is an incredible opportunity for people to keep our creeks, rivers, lakes, coast, and shorelines clean, restore the environment, and be a part of something big. 

To celebrate, here are a few ways to participate in the 39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day! This is not limited to those living on the coast. No matter where you live in the state — the Central Valley, on a mountain range, or even the desert — you too can help protect our coast and ocean!  


A beautiful view of the Monterey Bay from Garrapata State Park.


Participating in the coastal cleanup is easy — no matter where you are in the state! Check out these easy steps to join:  

Step 1: Visit the California Coastal Cleanup Day main page, explore the interactive map to locate a cleanup event you want to attend, and read the instructions. Some sites require pre-registration while others allow you to simply drop in. Please check the date carefully as not all events will take place on September 23. 

Step 2: Sign the online waiver of liability (in English / Spanish), and show the confirmation email or printed signed copy to cleanup staff on the day of your cleanup.  

Step 3: Gather reusable cleanup supplies from home, such as a bucket, gardening gloves, and mask. Cleanup supplies, as well as liability waivers, will be available at each cleanup site if needed. 

Plus, as a proud sponsor of California Coastal Cleanup Day, we will host a cleanup event at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area! Join us Friday, September 22nd, and help keep our watersheds and coastlines clean by picking up debris. Learn more here!  

California State Parks Foundation volunteers at a California Coastal Cleanup workday at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, 2022.

2. LEARN  

Did you know the top three types of trash found between 1988 and 2017 are cigarettes/cigarette filters, food wrappers/containers, and caps/lids? Or how trash is detrimental to sensitive natural habitats and the wildlife that inhabit them? Learning is a powerful tool and a great way to motivate and inform people on the importance of keeping our environment clean. To celebrate, we invite you to check out a few resources to enrichen your cleanup experience: 



Can't make it to a cleanup? You can still make a difference for the California Coast by donating a gift today! Not only will you be supporting California Coastal Cleanup Day, but you will help ensure clean and accessible beaches, ocean stewardship, and habitat restoration for generations to come. Visit the California Coastal Cleanup Day donation page here.

California State Parks Foundation volunteers during a California Coastal Cleanup workday at Fort Ross State Historic Park, 2019.


Bonus: Continue your efforts after California Coastal Cleanup Day! 

Option 1: Did you know that our volunteer program has regularly scheduled workdays across the state focusing on trash pickup? We have plenty of monthly opportunities for you to protect California’s waterways coastlines! Go to and see our opportunity calendar!   

Option 2: Can’t make it to an event? We invite you to clean up your own local community! You can take this to the next level by recording your trash cleanup data with the Clean Swell app by Ocean Conservancy! The app makes it easy to record each item of trash you collect, which helps scientists and advocates around the world tackle ocean trash on a global scale. Learn more here:   

Option 2: You can continue your efforts on a larger scale by participating in the Adopt-A-Beach Program, by conducting a Neighborhood Cleanup, or a Schoolyard Cleanup, any time during the year! 

Option 3: Spread the word! Just like how learning is a powerful tool, spreading the word of the importance of keeping our natural environment clean, and about Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way to get others motivated and involved. Social media is a great tool to spread the word! Follow us @calparks on Instagram, Facebook, and X/ Twitter; The California Coastal Commission on Instagram, Facebook, and X/ Twitter; and use the hashtag #CoastalCleanupDay to share your experience!

Coastline at Point Dume State Beach

As we gear up for the 39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, we want to remind you that every effort counts, no matter how small. When we come together as a community, our collective actions create waves of positive change that reverberate across our beautiful state and beyond. This event is not just about cleaning up; it's a day of celebration, education, and reconnecting with California's natural wonders. We hope to see you this California Coastal Cleanup Day, where your efforts will paint a brighter future for future generations, one piece of picked-up trash at a time!