Volunteers in the San Francisco Bay Area Saturday picked up more than 200,000 pounds of trash in the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, preliminary data from the California Coastal Commission shows.
The 20,202 volunteers picked up about an average of 10 pounds per person.
“I’m really encouraged by the turnout,” the commission’s Marine Debris Program Manager Eben Schwartz said.
But Schwartz expressed some concern about the amount of trash picked up, which was less than typical.
He thought the heavy rains this winter would have left more trash along creeks and rivers. He said he’s hoping the rain was not so heavy that it washed the trash into the ocean.
“I’m hoping that’s not the explanation.”
The reason could be that more cleanups are done each year than in the past. Hundreds of cleanups are done every year across the state with some groups hosting a cleanup each month.
Volunteers in Alameda County picked up nearly 60,000 pounds of trash, the most of any county in the Bay Area. More than 5,000 volunteers participated in Alameda County.
In second place was Santa Clara County, whose 1,722 volunteers picked up 46,631 pounds of trash and in third were volunteers in Solano County who picked up 45,473 pounds of trash.
Schwartz said that the trash consisted of among other things cigarette butts, cups, plates and bags. The number of bags picked up this year was less than before, Schwartz said.
The most unusual find in Northern California was found in Contra Costa County. A volunteer found a severed house-arrest bracelet.