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Volunteer to clean up San Diego beaches for Coastal Cleanup Day 2021

Research shows that at least 8 million tons of plastic leak into the ocean, which is similar to dumping a garbage truck into the ocean every minute.

SAN DIEGO — The International Coastal Cleanup Day returns to San Diego for its 37th year on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

Brothers Josiah and Judah Morrison love playing on the beach, but, most of all, a clean beach free of trash and debris. 

"I think it's important to have a clean beach because some people hurt their feet when they are walking on a bunch of stuff and they start getting hurt a lot and I think people should stop getting hurt," said 9-year-old Josiah.

"I think we should get a clean beach so people can play and not get hurt," said 6-year-old Judah. 

And that’s just one of the many reasons why the environmental non-profit, I Love A Clean San Diego, has 3,600 volunteers registered so far to pick up trash on Coastal Cleanup Day. 

"This year since, you know, COVID is still around, we are trying to focus on doing your own local clean up instead of focusing on a hosted site like we normally do," said Lauren Short, Director of Community Engagement for I Love a Clean San Diego. "It is focusing on inland locations, too. It really is a watershed effort. We're here at the bay today and that is one of the drainage points."

Research shows that at least 8 million tons of plastic leak into the ocean, which is similar to dumping a garbage truck into the ocean every minute. This means there is more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight. 

"It's bad for the environment and we don’t want it to look bad," said Josiah.

According to a list by OceanConservacy.org, the top ten items collected around the world in 2020 were food wrappers, cigarette butts and plastic beverage bottles. 

"Plastic doesn’t biodegrade and it will remain there. Plastic is a huge benefit in our lives but it can be very detrimental, so it's great to pick it up for sure. After the event, you can report your accomplishments and once you submit it will show up on that map. It's an awesome tool," said Short. "I encourage everyone to get out and register!"

Register for free online by clicking here to help create a cleaner San Diego. 

"That means they are being supportive and trying to be nice," said Josiah.

Mark your calendars! The Coastal Cleanup is Saturday, September 18 and you can start anytime that day! 

News 8 has been a proud media partner and supporter of this event for many years.

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