During a 24-hour beach cleanup event in 2018, held across California’s 800 miles of coastline, there were more than one million pieces of garbage picked up, weighing in at a hefty 840,000 pounds.

Wanting to do our part to help keep our environment clean and beautiful, members and residents of AMC and their families gather together every summer to help pick up bags of garbage at our favorite parks and beaches. We’ve selected Saturday, July 25, as our AMC cleanup event. While we can’t gather physically due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can still each make small efforts that lead to big results in beautifying our parks and beaches. Here’s more information on the benefits of, necessary supplies for, and safety considerations of your cleanup.

Reap Both Physical and Mental Benefits of a Cleanup

Picking up any sort of litter is mentally satisfying, helps the local wildlife, can boost the economy, and is a great opportunity for some outdoor activity.

Gut-wrenching stories are everywhere of sea turtles, dolphins, seabirds, and whales tragically dying after ingesting or getting tangled in plastic that has been discarded into the ocean. What’s even more heartbreaking is that “almost half of all seabird species, 22% of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic found in or around their bodies,” according to MG Surfline.

Whether you spend the morning volunteering at Shaffer Park or decide to enjoy a day trip at Corona del Mar or Bolsa Chica Beach, you can make the world even more beautiful and even save the lives of sea creatures by spending an hour or two gathering garbage.

Get Your Supplies Ready

Now that July 25 is set aside on your calendar, or you’ve picked another day that works best for you, it’s time to make sure you have all the supplies for a successful cleanup event. Here is a list of key supplies to consider.

  • Trash bags and/or reusable five-gallon buckets
  • Reusable cloth gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Paper lawn and refuse bags for yard waste
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Reusable water bottle and healthy snacks

Encourage Safety During Your Cleanup

COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, so cleanup crews are bound to be smaller for this year’s event. So, if you’re inviting friends or extended family to participate in your cleanup, remember the CDC’s advice and “don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.” And if you aren’t able to maintain a distance of six feet from other people, be sure to wear your mask.

Cleaning up litter at local beaches and parks can make a difference while also being a fun summer activity. We encourage you to join us for our cleanup on July 25 or anytime during the month of July! Tag Lantern Bay in your photos and use the hashtags #AMCcleanup and #livehappy. We can’t wait to see you making a difference!