Heya, Humboldt County businesses! This is your chance to get involved.

Because look at all that trash. There. And there. And over there. Appalling, right? All along the highway, piled around trash cans at parks, dumped in the crannies of the peninsula, tossed into the sloughs, left scattered along the banks of the rivers, piled around the bay – once you notice how much garbage is strewn about our environs, it’s hard to not notice it. Especially when you realize we’re contributing to an estimated 8 million tons of garbage that ends up in the ocean annually

That awareness, along with the desire to do something useful, has resulted in people joining forces to pick up the trash from the ground (and the water!) in the form of ongoing cleanups. Lots of folks will stop to grab garbage if they see it. Lots of folks team up weekends to collect litter before it ends up in our local waterways – PacOut Green Team, Hum Love and Humboldt County Clean Up, all groups that’ve been featured in LoCO in the past year.

One event has been going on for decades, however: Coastal Cleanup Day, a day whose humble beginnings originated right here in Humboldt County as a program of the Northcoast Environmental Center. Now international, the event is celebrated worldwide and is the single largest volunteer event in support of the marine environment.

In 2014, over 1,000 Humboldt County Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers removed over eight tons of trash and recyclables from our beaches, rivers, bay and estuaries – Coastal Cleanup Day makes a quantitative difference in how much trash enters our ocean!

On Saturday, Sept. 19, in cooperation with the California Coastal Commission, the NEC will again organize at least 40 cleanups throughout Humboldt County. This feat requires an immense amount of staff time and community coordination, and only possible due to the generosity of our financial and in-kind sponsors, currently these fine businesses and organizations:

One Love Stand Up 
North Coast Co-op 
Humboldt County 
City of Eureka 
Les Schwab Tires 
Humboldt Sanitation 
Arcata Garbage Company
Friends of the Dunes
Lost Coast Outpost (!!!)*
Runaway Kite 
Visual Concepts 
Mad River Union

Coastal Cleanup Day sponsors directly make our world a better place!

Want to join that effort? Contact your faithful ocean correspondent at jsavage@yournec.org for all the info you could possibly want. (At least regarding Coastal Cleanup Day. I make no promises on serving as a resource regarding your life issues.) 

*A special thanks to LoCO for being a media sponsor and also to editor Hank Sims for inviting me to write about the ocean lo those many years ago. Much appreciated, on all fronts.

Jennifer Savage serves as Coastal Programs Director for the Northcoast Environmental Center and chairs Surfrider’s Humboldt Chapter.