37th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day | Sept. 18, 2021 | San Diego County

Sign up today to volunteer for the county's largest single-day environmental cleanup! Protecting our coast starts at your front door

Event Details

Saturday, September 18 2021 Starting at 6 AM

Join an army of socially-distanced Volunteer Environmental Champions to clean up litter and debris in your corner of San Diego County. Thousands of small efforts will help prevent TONS of litter from entering our creeks, bays and the ocean!

How to participate:

  • 1. Register Online and you'll receive an email with full requirements and details on how to prepare.
  • 2. Prepare your supplies. Put those used grocery bags to use! Gather your gardening or cleaning gloves, reusable buckets, litter grabbers, reusable water bottles and sturdy shoes.
  • 3. Take pride in cleaning your neighborhood by walking your block or going to a Litter Hotspot, and keep track of your litter as you go along.
  • 4. Separate your trash and recyclables! By properly separating, we're enhancing our recycling knowledge and supporting the recycling system. When you're finished, use your bins at home to dispose of trash and recycling.
  • 5. Share your accomplishments! Please help us by reporting totals and detailed litter data to the Volunteer Impact Map and make sure San Diego County is included in the international effort!
Register FAQ

About Coastal Cleanup Day

I Love A Clean San Diego has served as the official organizer of Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County since it was founded in 1985. The event is a major part of International Coastal Cleanup, which is facilitated by The Ocean Conservancy and includes many U.S. states and territories, and over 70 countries. In California, data is reported to the California Coastal Commission as part of the international cleanup efforts. You are joining hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world to remove pollution from our ecosystems!

Over 269,000
Over 5 Million
POUNDS OF LITTER & DEBRIS Removed Since 1985

Why Volunteer?

80% of all coastal pollution begins inland

By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish by weight in the world’s oceans if we don’t defend our waterways from litter

Because we LOVE where we live

Get Involved

Anyone can do it! Volunteer as an individual, with friends and family or as a corporate team. Apart, yet together. All ages welcome. You can also help Coastal Cleanup Day by donating directly through the orange button.

Cleanup Day T-Shirts

Volunteer Impact Map

Please help us by recording your cleanup totals to the Volunteer Impact Map and make sure San Diego County is included in the international effort! 

Report Your Data

An important part of this event is collecting litter totals and weight estimates from all volunteers who participate! This data is key to implementing important habit changes, educating our county residents, and influencing policy changes. The location you clean up and litter totals you report will be shared on our Volunteer Impact Map to track collective cleanup totals, all day long, countywide! Thank you for being citizen scientists!


    Sign in or make a profile in our Community Hub. Once you create your account, you can register for the event directly here


    When you register, you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to keep track of data while you clean up and how to report back when you complete your cleanup.


    Report your cleanup data directly on the survey embedded in the Volunteer Impact Map above or through the report form link also sent to your email.


    Head back to the Volunteer Impact Map to watch those litter totals grow!

Thank You to Our Partners

I Love A Clean San Diego thanks our valued partners for helping make Coastal Cleanup Day 2021 a success. If you would like to join the community of businesses that support this event, please contact Ian Monahan at imonahan@cleansd.org.






In Kind

Interested in becoming a corporate partner with 2021
Coastal Cleanup Day or an upcoming I Love A Clean
San Diego event? Please contact us.

Volunteer Team

Ian Monahan

Corporate Partnerships & Media
Send us a message and we'll get right back with you.

Contact Us

Main Office

5797 Chesapeake Court
Suite 200
San Diego, CA, 92123

Phone Number

(619) 291-0103


  • Q: How do I register?

    Registration is open! You can log in to your profile on our Community Hub (or create a profile if you haven’t already) to sign-up for Coastal Cleanup Day. When you sign up you’ll receive a confirmation email with cleanup guidelines, recycling tips, a link to report your totals, and more! If you have any challenges during the registration process, please contact us at volunteers@cleansd.org.

  • Q: Can I register as a family or household group?

    Yes! As you register for the cleanup on the Community Hub, you can (1) create a new group or (2) select an existing group (from a past event). 

    You can register on behalf of your group and list the # of volunteers you expect; this makes you the point of communication and you can relay information you get from us to your group members. This option is great for smaller groups with an advisor like scout troops and student clubs.

    You can also register your group for the cleanup and list the # of “invites” you would like; this creates a unique URL for your group sign-up that you can send to your group members to sign themselves up under your group “umbrella”. This option is great for larger groups where everyone can be responsible for receiving information from us, like a church congregation or a corporate team.

  • Q: How old do I have to be to volunteer?

    Coastal Cleanup Day is a great event for the whole family. Kids are welcome to participate; volunteering at a young age can instill community stewardship for life! 

    If kids want to register but do not have an email, a guardian can register as a group and include them as a member count (a “group” is a general term that can include a family, a team, or any type of group you can think of at any size – including just 2 people).

  • Q: How do I prepare?

    To make this as sustainable as possible, try to use your own reusable supplies from around the house – items like litter buckets, litter grabbers, gardening gloves, face masks, and reusable water bottles. 

    You may want to bring snacks, hand sanitizer, and cleanup-ready clothing like closed-toed shoes and a big hat. Check out this Supply Guide to repurpose what you have around your house.

  • Q: What do I wear?

    You can feel prepared with gloves, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. We strongly encourage face masks if you are with a group or working in a tight space. If you live close to a canyon, we recommend long pants and long-sleeved shirts (but keep in mind it is September in San Diego!).

  • Q: Where should I do my cleanup?

    We have a Litter Hotspot Map that identifies commonly trashed areas around the County that can use your help! You can also volunteer in your neighborhood, in a nearby park or canyon you enjoy, or in an area you know can use some extra help. We aren’t hosting specific cleanup sites this year so use your imagination to make an impact somewhere unique to you.

  • Q: How can I stay safe?

    Follow CDC Guidance on vaccinated and unvaccinated requirements throughout the County. For cleanup-related safety, please read the safety guidelines you’ll receive via email when you register!

  • Q: How will we know our impact?

    YOU submit your cleanup data! Participating volunteers will be able to contribute to real time, crowd-sourced data by reporting your volunteer impact. Once registered, volunteers will receive a link to a detailed form to report back their cleanup stats, which can be accessed on mobile or desktop. Paper data cards will also be available for those that need them. As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, this community-based science will contribute to a global database. 

    After you submit your litter report, check out our Volunteer Impact Map to see the stats grow and the map get filled in with cleanups from around the County!

  • Q: Does this count for community service? What about court ordered service?

    This event does qualify for Community Service Hours but it does not qualify for Court Ordered hours. Since this is not an in-person gathering, we are unable to verify Court Ordered Hours for this cleanup.

    In order to receive volunteer hours, service forms and Letters of Appreciation – volunteers will need to be:

      1. Registered for the event through I Love A Clean San Diego’s Community Hub
      2. Participate in the cleanup
      3. Capture a photo of your active participation in the cleanup
      4. Log your volunteer hours post cleanup through your profile on the Community Hub.

    Volunteers who are registered for the cleanup are eligible to request community service verification and Letters of Appreciation. To request volunteer hours verification – follow this guide to Log Your hours and complete the logbook survey to request community service forms.

  • Q: Can my troop get patches for participating?

    Yes, volunteers can earn a Coastal Cleanup Day 2021 patch for this event. After your cleanup you will receive instructions for requesting your patch through your Community Hub dashboard.