Coastal Cleanup Day 2020: 50 Cleanups for the Bay

Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the state's largest effort to remove trash on beaches and shorelines, bringing out tens of thousands of volunteers every year. 

Because of COVID-19, this year's cleanups will be different, with volunteers organizing their own household cleanups locally throughout September.

So we are mobilizing our supporters to hold a total of 50 cleanups throughout the Bay Area!

With a self-directed cleanup, you organize the date and location in your own neighborhood, prep your own cleanup and safety materials, and dispose of any trash you collect, like in your home household bins. We provide all the instructions below, and an app for tracking your trash collection. Plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a Baykeeper water bottle and hat!

Please fill out the form below to pledge to organize a cleanup. Thank you for helping create a healthier San Francisco Bay!

Will you pledge to hold your own cleanup in September?

Guidelines for a Safe Self-Directed Cleanup

WhenSeptember 2020

Where: Choose a Bay shoreline, beach, creek, park, storm drain, or city street near you. Make sure your cleanup location is open to the public and away from large crowds. 

Since these cleanups are self-directed, you will be responsible for disposing of the trash at your residence.
WhyTrash pollution has gotten worse during the pandemic due to a sharp increase in the use of plastic bags, takeout containers, and other single-use items, like gloves and masks. Now more than ever, it’s essential for us to fight (and track) the rising tide of trash pollution—September 2020 may be the most important Coastal Cleanup "Day" yet!

How to track my trash: Install the Clean Swell app—for iPhone or Android—and type in SF Baykeeper as your group.

(If you don't have a smartphone, you can use a printable tally sheet instead).

When you arrive at your cleanup site, use the Swell app to track the quantity of each trash item type you find.   

What to put in your cleanup kit 

  • Your phone with the Clean Swell app (or a printed copy of the trash tally sheet)—and the Baykeeper cleanup Spotify playlist
  • Face mask, gloves, and plenty of hand sanitizer
  • Grabbers or tongs and sturdy trash bags 
  • Snacks and plenty of water
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses and/or a hat 

Make sure to wear close-toed shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty.  

On the day-of, make sure to post your cleanup on social media—tag us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtags #CoastalCleanupDay2020 and #LoveSFBay.

Important safety precautions:  

  • Do not join a cleanup if you are sick
  • Do not participate in a cleanup if air quality is too poor for outside activity
  • Do not touch discarded PPE without a grabber or tongs
  • Do not pick up syringes or other sharp objects, dead animals, or human waste
  • Separate hazardous waste like batteries and paint, and take them to a hazardous waste dropoff center 
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people outside your household
  • Wear a mask and gloves
  • Dispose of (or wash) your gloves and thoroughly wash/sanitize your hands after the cleanup
  • For detailed instructions on protecting yourself and your family from COVID-19, refer to CDC guidelines.

Below is a map of some of our favorite cleanup locations. Please make sure to check if your chosen location is open to the public before heading to your cleanup site. Depending on the timing, some parks and shoreline areas may not be accessible due to wildfires or COVID-19. 

If you have questions, please email Cole Burchiel at

By participating you understand and agree that neither San Francisco Baykeeper, the State of California, California Coastal Commission, nor associated jurisdictions may be held liable or responsible in any way for any injury, death, or other damages to you or your family, heirs, or assigns that may occur as a result of your participation, or as a result of product liability or the negligence, whether passive or active, of any party in connection with the cleanups.