California Coastal Cleanup Day

Fifteen people widely scattered across a beach carrying buckets search for marine debris. Tan bluffs rise from the beach on the left, waves wash ashore in the center far right.
Volunteers search for marine debris on Drakes Beach on September 15, 2018.

Please join us on Saturday, September 21, 2024
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Location: Drakes Beach (Directions)
Meet in front of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center

Point Reyes National Seashore, in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission and Point Reyes National Seashore Association, will be sponsoring a Beach cleanup at Drakes Beach on Saturday, September 21, 2024. The cleanup will take place from 10 am to 1 pm. This is an annual effort in California, when citizens come out to help collect data and clean up our beaches. This is a family friendly event, but keep in mind that dogs and pets are prohibited at Drakes Beach. Participants should bring sunscreen, lunch and/or snacks, and their own water bottles, work gloves, and bucket. The PRNSA Bookstore at Drakes Beach sells merchandise and some pre-packaged food and drinks. Please dress in layers and be prepared for cool, coastal conditions.

For more information, please contact Fiona O'Kelly by email. Pre-registration is not required and drop-ins are welcome for single participants or small groups. Please pre-register if you will be bringing a group of more than than 15 participants.


Walk-ups on the day of are welcome, but pre-registration is required if you plan on bringing a school class, a Scout Troop, or other group of 15 or more people, please contact Ranger Fiona at least two weeks in advance.

Five volunteers sign forms at a folding table while a ranger on the left prepares bags and buckets for the volunteers to use as they collect marine debris from the beach.
Volunteers signing up to participate in the California Coastal Beach Cleanup.

Safety First

Safety is our first priority for any beach cleanup. Even the cleanest-looking beach can hide dangers under the sand. Nails, broken glass, hypodermic needles…even an unexploded grenade have been found during Coastal Cleanup Days.

  • Gloves are required for the Coastal Cleanup and will not be provided.
  • Anyone planning to eat snacks during or shortly after the cleanup should bring antibiotic hand cleaner.
  • Everybody that joins a beach cleanup is required to sign a Volunteer Agreement Form, which will be provided upon arrival.
Garbage that was collected from Drakes Beach included (from left to right, some of which are in dark green garbage cans): ropes, a large white cutting board, wood, a pair of sneakers, foam, a three-foot diameter tire, and a light blue garbage can.
Some of the garbage that was collected on September 15, 2018.

Thank You & Results from 2023

Point Reyes National Seashore thanks the 22 adults and 5 children who helped collect 65.37 pounds of garbage and marine debris from Drakes Beach on September 23, 2023.

Contact Information

Fiona O'Kelly will be the beach captain for Drakes Beach. Feel free to contact Fiona O'Kelly by email if you have any questions. If you plan on bringing a school class, a Scout Troop, or other group of 15 or more people, please contact Fiona O'Kelly at least two weeks in advance.

Other Opportunities

Visit the California Coastal Commission's California Coastal Cleanup Day page for information about other locations.

A California Coastal Cleanup Day poster featuring a white bird with long black legs and yellow feet with a cigarette butt where its beak should be.

About California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual event which usually occurs on the third Saturday of September (unless Rosh Hashanah coincides with the third Saturday of September, in which case CCCD is held on the fourth Saturday of September). California Coastal Cleanup Day is the premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment in the country and is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission's year-round Adopt-A-Beach program. On this day, over 50,000 volunteers turn out to over 700 cleanup sites statewide to conduct what has been hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the largest garbage collection" (1993). Since the program started in 1985, over 1 million Californians have removed over 20 million pounds of debris from our state's shorelines and coast. In 2018, over 71,000 volunteers removed more than 819,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by The Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events of the year.

Coming at the end of the summer beach season and right near the start of the school year, Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together, take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how we can prevent them, and to have fun. Coastal Cleanup Day is also the kick-off event for Coastweeks—three weeks of coastal and water-related events for the whole family.

Artwork composed of marine debris representing the sun over the ocean and a whale's tail exposed above the water.

Marine Debris Art Project

During the 2015 California Coastal Cleanup Day at Drakes Beach, the Marin MPA Watch team (a program coordinated by Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, California Academy of Sciences, and Point Reyes National Seashore) exhibited their Marine Debris Art Projects, created totally from trash collected off of Drakes Beach in June, July, and August of 2015. The art projects were constructed by local community groups, MPA Watch volunteers, and other community members. As of 2023, some of the artwork is still on display within the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center.

Learn More

Visit our Marine Debris page to learn more about this problem that is plaguing our oceans and what you can do to reduce the amount of trash that washes off the land and into the ocean.

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Last updated: April 28, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (e.g., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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