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1000s Of Bay Area Volunteers Come Out On California Coastal Cleanup Day

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Volunteers gathering trash from California's coastline. (Photo courtesy of Save the Bay)

Volunteers gathering trash from California’s coastline. (Photo courtesy of Save the Bay)

Thousands of Bay Area volunteers headed to local shorelines, beaches and inland waterways as part of the 28th annual California Coastal Cleanup on Saturday.

This year at sites throughout all Bay Area counties volunteers picked up trash, recyclables and other debris between 9 a.m. and noon for the annual community service day.

The California Coastal Commission, which heads the statewide cleanup effort, recorded more than 1.3 million pounds of debris collected from all counties in 2011.

Environmental advocacy group Save The Bay was at the Damon Slough in Oakland throughout the morning, and had collected 81 bags of trash and seven bags filled with discarded recyclables by the end of the workday, according to Save The Bay spokeswoman Vanessa Barrington.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan stopped by the shoreline at one point, Barrington said, and joined about 70 other volunteers, including some local firefighters, who found some odd items as they cleaned the litter-strewn shore.

Aside from an abundance of Styrofoam and fireworks debris, Barrington said volunteers picked up a toaster oven and an empty wallet. The strangest find in the waterway was a big wheel, Barrington said.

Save The Bay also hosted a cleanup site in San Jose at the Guadalupe River Trail. More than 100 volunteers there collected 90 bags of trash and debris, Barrington said.

Barrington noted volunteers found a discarded Santa Claus Christmas decoration — hailed as the strangest find of the day.

Other cleanups planned throughout the Bay Area today included 80 sites throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey counties organized by ocean advocacy group Save our Shores.

In other parts of the region, East Bay Regional Park District had volunteers come out to the districts many parks found in Livermore, Hayward, Oakland, Alameda, Richmond, Martinez and elsewhere.

For more information about Coastal Cleanup Day, visit www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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