Updated: Sep 25, 2021
[Orange County, CA, second Saturday each month] Orange County Coastkeeper is a beach cleanup club founded officially in 1999. Their mission is to maintain local beaches clean for us to be able to swim in today and for future generations to come. This month of September was special for the organization because it marked the 36th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day in the state of California.
In efforts to continue to allow evolvement, the organization took this community event remote in efforts to help flatten the curve amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this event is planned to take place the second Saturday of the month every month, OC Coastkeeper partnered with an application called Clean Swell. This application was created for us to download onto our phones so we can go to any beach that is open and log our beach cleanup hours. We can also see how many hours and how much trash was collected within the organization. There are also other ways of participating if unable to make it physically to the beach. Some of these activities include recycling your trash or even participating in your neighborhood’s cleanup. All waterways lead to the ocean and too much trash on the street will up there as well.
Orange County Coastkeeper is for anyone who wants to be a part of the beatification of their beaches, whether it be visiting Orange County coast for the 36th annual celebration, wants to maintain clean water sources for the future generations, or wishes to stay closer to home and clean garbage in their neighborhood before giving it a chance to reach the ocean’s coast. As mentioned before, logging cleanup hours and participating via the application Clean Swell has become the solution for now because of the pandemic; The organization does not want to be held responsible for large gatherings resulting in the spread of COVID-19. One also has the option to log their hours any day at any time, and at any Orange County beach. It does not have to be the second Saturday of every month, although that was the official set date before. This organization is important because it looks out for the better good of our
Southern California beaches, especially considering how much we pollute the ocean daily.
Garry W. Brown is the Founding Director of Orange County Coastkeeper since 1999. It has been because of his commitment and resiliency to see his beach communities clean that the organization is as successful as it is. Although I was unable to hear back from him, he states in an interview that “The positive thing is there’s awareness, attention, and willingness to talk about the environment, our need to preserve it and be better stewards” (Brown, 2019). The impact this organization has brought to the community in the twenty-one years since the founding has been very positive, and with the help of technology today such as the Clean Swell application, more people are able to participate in the cleaning of our communities at their best convenience.