Results Begin to Come in for International Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County 2021

Results Begin to Come in for 37th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO COUNTY (Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021) – Volunteers came out in force today with I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) for the 37th annual International Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County. There were 5,970 registered volunteers by 9 a.m.

“We are always blown away at the number of volunteers who come out for Coastal Cleanup Day,” said the event’s director Lauren Short. “For the past two years, COVID-19 concerns have had us operating under a virtually hosted event model. We thank all the volunteers for their great work today and we are looking forward to getting back to hosting over 120 sites in-person around the county in 2022.”

ILACSD is relying on volunteers to self-report their litter totals from hundreds of individual and group cleanups around the county. Based on how reports are trending from volunteers, it is estimated some 30,000 pounds of litter will be cleared from a variety of open spaces around San Diego County today.

Cigarette butts and plastic food wrappers have remained the top environmental pollutants since the event’s inception. Combined over 7,200 pieces have been collected and that number is expected to crest 40,000 pieces once results are finalized. Cigarette butts, which are plastic, plastic food wrappers, cups, water bottles, fast-food containers and other discarded single-use plastics never break down, and end up creating microplastics that contaminate water sources and injure wildlife.

Based on today’s estimated results, over 274,000 volunteers countywide have removed over 5.4 million pounds of litter and debris from local communities since Coastal Cleanup Day’s inception in 1985.

New this year, volunteers are also recording “thank yous” they receive while cleaning up. ILACSD estimates volunteers will receive 5,947 “thank yous” from those who see them in action.

Final cleanup totals will be available by Friday, September 24, 2021.

SDG&E celebrated 20 years of service at Coastal Cleanup Day by beautifying four locations – Escondido Creek, Paradise Hills, Del Mar and National City. Team SDG&E will have cleared approximately 114,000 pounds of litter and beautified 70 sites around the county over two decades at Coastal Cleanup Day.

Mayor Todd Gloria attended the Think Blue San Diego cleanup site in Ocean Beach, which drew 110 volunteers around the community’s oceanfront.

About Coastal Cleanup Day

I Love A Clean San Diego has been the official organizer of Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County since it was founded in 1985. The event is a major part of International Coastal Cleanup, which is facilitated by The Ocean Conservancy and includes many U.S. states and territories, and over 70 countries. Within California, Coastal Cleanup Day is a partnership between the California Coastal Commission, nonprofit groups, cities and counties throughout the state. San Diego County Volunteers are joining hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world in the removal of pollution from our connected ecosystems.

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 or call (619) 291-0103. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn