By the numbers, last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day in San Mateo County made an impact. More than 5,000 volunteers covered 106 miles of San Mateo County and collected more than 35,000 pounds of trash and recyclables.

This year, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be split across four Saturdays throughout September to limit large in-person gatherings, according to a press release from the San Mateo County Health Department.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, California Coastal Commission’s 36th annual event won’t have typical cleanup sites as in years past. Instead, the San Mateo County Environmental Health Services Department requests participants to designate one Saturday, or all four, to pick up garbage in their respective neighborhoods with a household or social bubble team. Participants can also select a team in their city and RSVP at The data should be recorded on the mobile app Clean Swell, available on IOS and Android devices.

“Although we can’t participate in big groups to clean up the coast as we have done in past years, we can still make a difference by protecting our valuable coast,” San Mateo County Environmental Health Services Director Heather Forshey said in a press release. “The simple truth is that everything in our county flows downhill to our coast. We’re asking our community to get households or social bubbles together and dedicate one or more Saturdays in September to pick up litter in your neighborhoods while following social distancing protocols to help make a difference. This activity is a great opportunity to show children through action how beach cleanups really start at everyone’s front door.”

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