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California Coastal Clean Up


September 17th was California's Annual Coastal Clean Up. It's a part of International Coastal Cleanup Day, celebrated annually on the third Saturday in September. It's actually the Planet's biggest day of world volunteerism. Thousands of volunteers from all over California descended upon beaches and water ways to help in the mission to clean up the garbage. My two daughters, my dad and I decided to join in the efforts to clean up Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda since that is a favorite beach to visit in Northern California.

When we got to the beach there were so many families walking around with gloves and buckets that it was really heartening to witness. The volunteer staff were super friendly welcoming us with smiles and all the supplies we could possibly need to help clean up the beach. The staff was really accommodating and offered to help us get started in so many ways. There was even free fruit and coffee to keep the volunteers energized!

We got well equipped with gloves, buckets, a checklist, and little orange flags and we were off and ready to go. We picked up cigarette butts, plastic, glass pieces, pieces of a dilapidated fence, twine, band aids, and a plastic fork. I also ran into a mom that I knew and while we were talking she found a syringe! Yikes- we were glad a kid had not found that one!

Finally we were at a loss to find anymore bits of garbage as it looked like every volunteer had scoured the beach as best they could, so we headed back to the home base. Everyone was very welcoming upon arrival back and happy to help us with depositing our trash into the right bins.

Since we were already at Crown Beach, what else was there to do but stay and play in the waves? The day was sunny and beautiful so we kicked off our shoes and ran in to the Bay. My oldest daughter Satya is great at making friends everywhere we go. I love the way children just naturally gravitate towards each other and play together- no context needed. She ended up building a dam and sandcastles with one little boy and playing catch in the waves with another. My youngest daughter loves the water so much and has no fear of it at all, she just runs right in the waves.

It was a beautiful day to enjoy the beach and give it a good cleaning! Mother nature gives us so much, and asks nothing from us in return other than to protect her.


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