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Thousands Of Volunteers Clean California Beaches

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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)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The California Coastal Commission estimates volunteers across the state collected at least 320 tons of debris from the state’s beaches, lakes, rivers and streams this weekend.

More than 57,000 people gave up their Saturday to pick up debris along the coastline and inland waterways as part of an annual clean-up aimed at protecting public safety and marine wildlife.

Organizers tell the San Jose Mercury News that volunteers in 70 percent of the counties collected 105,816 pounds of cans, bottles and other recyclable material.

This year, volunteers were on the lookout for debris from the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last year.

The commission’s Eben Schwartz says volunteers at a Santa Cruz County beach found a buoy with Japanese writing, and picked up buoys and water bottles with Japanese writing in Mendocino County.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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