Saving the Beach One Cleanup at a Time

By Leslie Veliz

Photos by Leslie Veliz and Niyah Maldonado

Photo by Leslie Veliz

Photo by Leslie Veliz

In recent months, there’s been a climate change awareness fervor. People are buying and carrying their own straws and reusable shopping bags are made in trendy patterns. A Hydro Flask might as well be a fashion statement. In an age where social media is constantly making us aware of the problems the environment is facing, it can be overwhelming and even a little discouraging. Most of us are ordinary people with busy lives who are unsure of how we could help even if we wanted to. Well, you can help! And here’s how. 

Since 1999, Save Our Beach holds monthly beach cleanups at Seal Beach. What started out as a few people picking up trash and bringing extra bags for others to join, is now an organization that does cleanups every third Saturday of the month. 

To motivate others to join the cleanup, Save Our Beach makes it an incredibly smooth process from beginning to end. The cleanup is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and starts at the 15 First Street parking lot in Seal Beach. You will see a blue tent that says “Save Our Beach”; this is where you will check in and get a free parking pass that is good for the duration of the cleanup. I suggest going earlier to find parking, as the lot fills up pretty quickly! It is not required, but it is encouraged for you to register online to make the check in process go quickly. 

From there, you will be given gloves, reusable bags, and a trash picker. The only thing you have to bring is water (in a reusable bottle, of course!) and some sunscreen, if needed. Save Our Beach even gives out Kind Bars just in case you work up an appetite while cleaning up. After you receive your tools, it’s time to head on out to the sand!

During the cleanup, you have free range of the beach. Nothing is off limits! However, you might find that the hillier areas of Seal Beach have more trash than the flat regions. If you can’t stay for the entire three hours, don’t worry! You can come and go whenever you need to. 

Photo by Niyah Maldonado

Photo by Niyah Maldonado

Photo by Niyah Maldonado

Photo by Niyah Maldonado

When you are finished picking up trash, make sure you go back to the blue Save Our Beach tent to return your gloves, bags, and trash pickers. There will also be a dumpster for you to dump out all the trash you collected. And that’s it! No money is required to make a difference—just a little bit of your time. 

Beach cleanups happen rain or shine! Bring your friends or family and make a day out of it. Seal Beach is a charming small town that has a lovely downtown area and several food options! Save the beach and have a good time doing it. 

The next cleanup is October 19. You can register for it here. If you can’t make it to this one, there are several dates for cleanups going into 2020! For more information on Save Our Beach, head to their website.

Photo by Leslie Veliz

Photo by Leslie Veliz