19th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup, San Diego County’s largest cleanup effort honoring Earth Day, to mobilize thousands of socially-distanced volunteers of all ages in communities across the region. Free online registration open April 1 at CreektoBay.org
San Diego CA— After its postponement and production of a smaller cleanup in 2020 due to COVID-19, I Love A Clean San Diego County (ILACSD) returns its Creek to Bay Cleanup to its traditional annual date during Earth Week on Saturday, April 24, 2021.
This year’s environmental event will operate under the decentralized, socially-distanced model introduced last year where volunteers clean up close to their homes. Organizers aim to double the event’s litter removal impact by issuing a 30,000-pound, one-day challenge to all participants. This is an opportunity for all county residents to safely volunteer and cleanup streets, parks, canyons and beaches within their own neighborhoods. Free online volunteer registration opens on April 1 at CreektoBay.org.
Volunteer registration is vital in order to collect critical data on location and cleanup totals, which ILACSD tracks to report on annual pollution trends. For instance, ILACSD saw a spike is disposable masks and restaurant takeout litter due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Only registered volunteers can self-report their results, which updates the event’s live Volunteer Impact Map hosted on CreektoBay.org. Participants will contribute to real-time, crowd-sourced metrics for the event. Once registered, volunteers will be sent a link to a simple cleanup report form to input their cleanup stats, which can be accessed on mobile device or computer.
“No matter where you live in San Diego County, we all live in one of the region’s 11 watersheds, which need our help to protect the inland environment, creeks, bays and ultimately the ocean,” said Len Hering, executive director at I Love A Clean San Diego. “Most of all marine pollution begins inland and flows through storm drains and waterways before hitting coast.”
Since its inception, Creek to Bay Cleanup volunteers have helped clear over 2.7 million pounds of pollution from communities across the county to protect the regions natural environment, waterways and the ocean. Even with ongoing restrictions for group gatherings, organizers at ILACSD are excited to see the results from the many small efforts countywide and hope the Creek to Bay’s tagline, “Your Neighborhood, Our Environment,” highlights the importance of taking action locally to contribute regionally and beyond.
ILACSD encourages all volunteers to practice zero waste cleanup habits at Creek to Bay by swapping single-use plastic items for sustainable alternatives. People can donate to ILACSD and receive an upcycled reusable bucket and new litter grabber through the Drop in the Bucket drive on Saturday, April 10. An online donation of $30 will generate a receipt for donors to drive thru the pickup station at the I Love A Clean San Diego office on April 10th – 5797 Chesapeake Court, San Diego, CA 92123.
To help expand the countywide experience, volunteers are encouraged to contribute to the Creek to Bay Cleanup story through Facebook and Instagram with images and video to show themselves in action as they beautify their community. #ILoveACleanSD #CreekToBay2020 @ILoveACleanSD
Did you know?
The most prevalent pollutants collected at the Creek to Bay Cleanup are discarded cigarette butts, which are really plastic, and plastic pieces of all types and sizes. These items pollute the planet forever. Volunteers at past events have also collected easy chairs, tires, mattresses, refrigerator’s, bike frames, golf clubs and other odd items that should not be discarded in the natural environment. Organizers expect to see a significant increase in disposable medical masks and single-use takeout containers and plastic bags.
About I Love A Clean San Diego
Founded in 1954, I Love A Clean San Diego is an environmental nonprofit supporting residents and businesses of San Diego County through youth and adult education, and local action through impactful volunteer events and workshops. As San Diego’s most influential advocate for sustainability, I Love A Clean San Diego’s programs are an environmental catalyst, awakening passion and inspiring action to empower everyone to be leaders in conservation and waste-free living. Our community is passion in action to maintain and improve the health of the home we love. For more information, to volunteer or donate, visit CleanSD.org or call (619) 291-0103. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.