California Coastal Cleanup Day 2001
by Senator Barbara Boxer
ceans cover 70 percent of our planet. In addition to providing a great place to swim or take a walk on the beach, they contribute to the oxygen we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. In the US Senate, many of the laws I have supported are, in part, aimed at protecting this enormous and in many ways fragile environment. I have worked for tougher enforcement of clean water laws, more funding to protect sensitive coastal areas, a permanent ban on new offshore oil drilling in California and greater protections for dolphins and other marine mammals.
California's beaches are some of the most spectacular places on earth. Yet garbage, plastic and other trash are routinely dumped on our beaches. With more than fourteen billion pounds of garbage dumped near or into the planet's oceans every year, plants and animals in our seas are under constant threat.
California Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday, September 15. Every year, thousands of volunteers contribute to make this day the biggest shoreline cleanup in the nation. They will take to the shores along Cali-fornia's 1,100 miles of coastline and along streams throughout the state. Last year, more than 43,000 volunteers hit the beaches, rivers, bays, and creeks to pick up 700,000 pounds of trash and 61,000 pounds of recyclables. I have participated in coastal cleanups, and I can tell you that they are fun and a way to really make a difference.
Since its beginning in 1985, California Coastal Cleanup Day has cleaned up tons of garbage and raised awareness about the critical importance of our oceans. Trash tossed in the street eventually washes into the ocean and becomes deadly to marine life. The oceans work to balance the ecosystem and provide for our well-being.
We all have a responsibility to protect our environment for the future. This year, join me in helping clean up California's coasts. To get involved, call the California Coastal Commission at 800-COAST4U or visit its website at www.coastal.ca.gov.
Barbara Boxer is a US Senator representing California. For more information about her offices in Washington or California, go to: www.senate.gov/~boxer/contact/offices.html