Coastal Cleanup Day

A record-breaking number of volunteers like thes Girl Scouts at Surfrider Beach turned out for Coastal Cleanup Day in 2018. Photo by Suzanne Guldimann

Coastal Cleanup Day is coming on September 21, and Heal the Bay is celebrating its 30th year coordinating events at beaches, rivers, creeks and estuaries all over Los Angeles County. 

Coastal Cleanup Day is an international day of action that continues to grow. Last year, 13,464 volunteers removed 59,600 pounds of trash and debris in LA County during the three-hour event. Statewide, there were 66,535 volunteers who removed 839,629 pounds of garbage, and worldwide, a record-breaking 789,138 volunteers cleaned up 20 million pounds of waste. 

Local residents have a wide number of opportunities, including two cleanup events in Topanga’s back yard. 

At 10 a.m., on Saturday, September 21, volunteers will meet behind the Topanga Market to organize into restoration work crews who will tackle cleanup in the Topanga Creek watershed.

Disposable work gloves and have a hand wash station will be provided. Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet. The creek is still flowing in some locations and there is trash on both banks. Long pants and sleeves recommended as there is also poison oak. Participants in this cleanup must be over 16 to participate. Community service hours are available.

There are no age limits for the cleanup down the hill at Topanga Beach, and the annual volunteer event attracts families and school groups. The volunteer event has become an annual tradition for many, with a friendly rivalry among groups to see who can collect the most trash. All of the garbage collected is carefully logged and weighed. Each cleanup event provides important data on the types of trash that end up in the ocean. 

Volunteers at the Topanga Beach cleanup can sign in at Tower South,18700 Pacific Coast Highway, beginning at 9 a.m.

Other local clean up events are scheduled for Temescal Canyon Park and Lifeguard Tower 7 at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, and at the Malibu Lagoon, Surfrider Beach, Corral Beach, and Leo Carrillo State

Underwater cleanup events will take place at the Malibu and Santa Monica piers, and are open to certified divers only. 

Volunteers are encouraged to sign up online in advance at:

Learn more about this massive volunteer event online at, or



Suzanne Guldimann

Suzanne Guldimann is an author, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She has worked as a journalist reporting on local news and issues for more than a decade, and is the author of nine books of music for the harp. Suzanne's newest book, "Life in Malibu", explores local history and nature. She can be reached at

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