The Cambrian

Cigarette butts, plastic and other beach trash: beware

A sampling of the trash brought in from the Pismo Beach Pier beach area during Coastal Cleanup Day in 2015.
A sampling of the trash brought in from the Pismo Beach Pier beach area during Coastal Cleanup Day in 2015.

If you’re sick of seeing cigarette butts, empty drink cups and other trash on the beach and in other public areas, you can band together with others and do something about it at various North Coast locations from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16.

It’s Coastal Cleanup Day, sponsored statewide by the California Coastal Commission, countywide at 30 different sites by ECOSLO and locally by various nonprofits and individual location captains.

The concurrent International Coastal Cleanup Day has been observed by more than 12 million people worldwide, according to the Ocean Consevancy. Those volunteers clean up millions of tons of trash from Earth’s beaches to keep the junk out of the sea, protect marine animals and ecosystems and make it safer and more pleasant for humans to visit the shoreline areas.

Among the officially designated North Coast cleanup locations are: Hearst State Beach, San Simeon Cove; San Simeon, Pico Beach access; San Simeon Campground; Moonstone Beach, Santa Rosa Creek and Shamel Park; Fiscalini Ranch Preserve; Estero Bluffs State Park; Cayucos Pier; and 24th Street in Cayucos.

However, other area sites also may be targeted, and business owners always are encouraged to tidy up the areas around their buildings, sidewalks and along the curbs.

Some nonprofits, such as Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP) and Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust, have been active in the cleanup efforts for years.

This year, those volunteering to help clean up the Marine Terrace and Bluff trail areas of the ranch should meet site captain Holly Sletteland at the south entrance (Windsor Boulevard on Marine Terrace) slightly before 9 a.m., according to Friends’ executive director Jo Ellen Butler. The group also could tidy up along the ocean along Sherwood Drive, depending on tide height and time available.

Greenspace volunteers will meet before 9 at the Santa Rosa Creek lagoon overlook parking area on Moonstone Beach Drive, on the north side of the lagoon. Executive Director Connie Gannon said Dave Bidwell will be the site captain, and there’ll be a sandwich board at the lot’s entrance, which can be hard to see until a driver is already past it. For details, email or call 805-927-2866.

Longtime area captains Bob Putney will be strictly in volunteer mode this year, cleaning up for the eighth consecutive year in the San Simeon Campground and San Simeon beach areas.

Further south at Estero Bluffs State Park will headquarter at the Fig Tree parking lot, 1.25 miles north of town, marked by the conservancy banner and flags. Refreshments will be provided. For details, email to

All participants should wear sunscreen, closed-toe walking shoes and garden gloves. Dress in layers, bring sunscreen and a hat, and at some sites, water and a snack. Bringing your own grocery bag or bucket is appreciated (and in some cases, will qualify you for a prize drawing!). If you have a “grabber,” sifter or sieve, bring it or them along, as they will be helpful.

Participants can just show up at the sites, or for details or to sign up for ECOSLO Coastal Cleanup Day 2017, go to, For other details, email Mary Ciesinski at or