Starting this weekend, local Santa Barbara County community members are encouraged to pick up the litter to help keep the oceans clean as part of the start of Coastal Cleanup Month.
The annual event, which was formerly known as Coastal Clean-Up Day, has been changed due to COVID-19.
As a result, instead of doing a big gathering on one day, the event will be spread throughout each Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon.
Explore Ecology, which helps put on the event every year by partnering with local city governments, said in a news release that it hopes to have another record amount of volunteers. The goal is to pick up more than 5,663 pounds of trash and 674 pounds of recyclables.
“Although we’re disappointed that we won’t see all of you on the beach this year, we are excited about the opportunity of doing more cleanups and picking up trash close to home,” Jill Cloutier, Explore Ecology public relations director, said in a news release.
“Our actions on land greatly impact our coastline. When we pick up litter before it becomes marine debris, we are making our neighborhoods and beaches more beautiful, healthy and safe,” she said. “Not only for us, but for all creatures.”
While local beaches will be under restriction this upcoming weekend due to the Labor Day weekend, people are encouraged to still help pick up the trash around the beach but should not have large gatherings or stay in one place for too long.
Additionally, other places that people could help clean include local parks, shores, creeks, streets, drainage areas, sidewalks, natural areas and trails.
People should also adhere to social distancing protocols, mask-wearing protocols and any other local ordinances to help curb the spread of COVID-19.