California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest annual volunteer event! It’s a chance for everyone in our state, no matter where they live, to help clean up trash from our environment before the rains come and wash it out to the coast and ocean. Participating is easy!
Yolo County has eight different locations to choose from! Don’t know which one to join? Which space is most special to you? Which one would you like to see for the first time?
Saturday, September 23, 2023
All cleanups start at 9am and end at 12pm
What to bring: Gloves, buckets, or reusable bags
Special instructions: Wear closed toed shoes, hats, sunscreen & bring resusable water bottle
1. Davis West Area Pond
Meet: Pond entrance near Circle K, Lake Blvd, Davis CA 95616
How to register Email:
Organizer: John McNerney, City of Davis 530-757-5686

2. Davis North Area Pond
Meet: 3434 Anderson Rd, Davis, CA 95616
How to register Email:
Organizer: John McNerney, City of Davis 530-757-5686

3. Davis Mace Detention Channel
Meet: Target Parking lot – 4601 2nd Street, Davis CA 95616
How to register:
Organizer: Rachel Snodgrass, Putah Creek Council 951-219-7879
4. Davis South Fork Preserve
Meet: 28875 County Rd. 104, Davis, CA 95618
Organizer: Nicolle Herr Putah Creek Council 530-795-9000
5. Yolo Wildlife Area
Meet: 45211 County Road 32B, Davis, CA 95618
How to register Email: Billy Montooth
Organizer: Billy Montooth Yolo Basin Foundation 530-757-3780
6. Lake Washington in West Sacramento
Meet: Lake Washington Sailing Club, Boathouse Road, West Sacramento, CA 95691
How to register: Email:
Organizer: Pat Sayer-Handley Lake Washington Sailing Club 916-216-3236
7. Port of West Sacramento Barge Canal
Meet: 2100 Jefferson Blvd, West Sacramento CA
How to register: Email:
Organizer: Linda Paumer River City Rowing Club 530-867-1485
8. Cache Creek Preserve
Meet: 34199 County Rd 20, Woodland, CA 95695
Organizer: Sheila Pratt Cache Creek Conservancy 530-661-1070
For other locations across the state, visit the California Coastal Clean Up Day web site 

History and Data from California Coastal Clean Up Day

While the California Coastal Commission did not run beach cleanups until 1985, efforts to keep our beaches free from plastics and other debris had been underway in California for quite some time. In 1979, Humboldt County community member Joe Abbott, having grown frustrated with the growing garbage problem plaguing local beaches, teamed with his wife Ann Morrissey to write a grant for what was first called the Beach Beautification Project. Under initial sponsorship and coordination from the Northcoast Environmental Center and its leaders Tim McKay and Sid Dominitz, the program was able to remove over 34,000 pounds of trash from 110 miles of Humboldt shoreline. Two years later, the NEC partnered with the Arcata Recycling Center, under the leadership of Wes Chesbro (who has since served a long career in the California State Legislature), to create the first “Adopt-A-Beach” program in California.

As community concern over trash on beaches grew, the cleanup idea began to spread, in California and elsewhere. In 1984, Oregon resident Judy Neilson, concerned over the plastic debris she saw littering the Oregon coast, organized the first statewide beach cleanup event in the U.S., calling it the “Plague of Plastics.” California followed suit the following year when, in 1985, the California Coastal Commission organized its first statewide cleanup event – California Coastal Cleanup Day.

Close to 2,500 Californians took part that first year, and the California Coastal Cleanup Day program has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. Since 1985, more than 1.6 million volunteers have removed over 26 million pounds of trash from beaches and inland waterways across the state.

In 1986, The Ocean Conservancy (then known as the Center for Marine Conservation) ran its first Coastal Cleanup in Texas, and soon after collaborated with the Coastal Commission to spread the cleanup movement first across the country, and later internationally. The International Coastal Cleanup now takes place in almost every state and over 100 countries and has become the world’s largest volunteer event related to the marine environment.

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, Coastal Cleanup Day continued to grow, steadily expanding inland. It now takes place in almost every California county. Since much of the plastic pollution in the ocean and on the coast travels there from city streets and inland waterways, cleanups in inland communities and throughout the watershed prevent trash from eventually becoming marine debris.

As volunteers pick up trash from California’s coasts and inland waterways, they also record the types of trash they find. This data provides policy makers and the public with the information needed to make important decisions. The data volunteers collect each year has helped track what plastic products are making their way to California’s beaches, rivers, and creeks. With these numbers, policy makers, businesses, and the public can begin to take actions to reduce both plastic production and pollution.

This data has been vitally important in developing and monitoring debris reduction policies, such as bans on single-use plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene foam foodware. California state and local laws designed to reduce the use of various single-use plastic products were driven in part because these items have been so ubiquitous in Coastal Cleanup data. Plastic bags were the 5th most common item of trash collected in 1998. California banned plastic bags in 2016, and by 2017, plastic bags were no longer one of the top 10 most common items collected. Recently, coastal cleanup data also contributed to new storm water regulations put in place to eliminate the amount of trash leaving our storm water drainage system.

Coastal Cleanup Day has successfully diverted millions of pounds of plastic debris from the ocean, but at the end of the day, this event is about much more than picking up trash. Over the years, the event has created a long-term dataset that describes the prevalence of different types of debris on our beaches and shorelines, which is used by policy makers to shape and monitor the success of plastic pollution prevention efforts. Moreover, it’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing respect for our oceans and waterways, as well as an opportunity for the community to send a statement and demonstrate its desire for clean water and healthy marine life. Finally, it’s a moment to share with one’s neighbors, family, and friends, coming together to accomplish something vital and worthy on behalf of the places we treasure.

#1. Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters 7,535,411 36.96%
#2. Food Wrappers/Containers 2,193,018 10.76%
#3. Caps/Lids 1,861,923 9.13%
#4. Bags (paper and plastic) 1,572,241 7.71%
#5. Cups/Plates/Utensils 1,113,129 5.46%
#6. Straws/Stirrers 863,481 4.24%
#7. Glass Beverage Bottles 679,709 3.33%
#8. Plastic Beverage Bottles 554,825 2.72%
#9. Beverage Cans 496,117 2.43%
#10. Construction Material 367,729 1.80%