cpacifiWhew what a September! With Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day falling only a week apart I had to start mentally preparing myself a few months in advance for how crazy September would be, and trust me it did not disappoint.

Coastal Cleanup Day, a volunteer event coordinated by the California Coastal Commission, in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy, makes this international event one of the largest volunteer days on the plant. With 80 miles of shoreline Point Reyes helps host a beach cleanup every year. For Coastal Cleanup we partnered with the Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) and the Marin Environmental Action Committee. Coastal Cleanup Day planning itself went well and was made easier with help from the volunteer coordinator and the educational manager from PRNSA. Both are experts on leading beach cleanups and having helped with the cleanup in past years a lot of the logistics were already in order. However, Coastal Cleanup Day planning became overshadowed by National Public Lands Day.

Early in the year, before I even started at Point Reyes, my supervisor had worked out a partnership with REI to come support National Public Lands Day. My supervisor even outlined a great project, a cleanup of the shoreline at Drakes Estero to help with the restoration effort. Once the site of an oyster farm, work crews have begun to return the area back to its natural state by removing an estimated 500 tons of aquaculture debris. With four weeks until the project our contact at REI let us know how they would help advertise.  Our small shoreline project would be; featured on the event calendar sent out to about 600K inboxes in the Bay Area, all 11 Bay Area Stores would have instore signage about the project, and a paid Facebook boost highlighting our project geotagged to users in the bay area. None the less we were apprehensive about matching the volunteer opportunity to the amount of potential inquiries we would receive. However, I was amazed by the support I received from my coworkers, and even one who had never worked with volunteers before, to step up and host alternate projects for that weekend. Within that week I went from managing one project to coordinating four projects (five if you count Coastal Cleanup Day). Continuing to work with REI leading up to the event we had a great outpouring of support from the community to help on the various projects.

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Shout out to two fellow CVA’s who were present for each project Kyle Yarusso at Coastal Cleanup Day and Song Gao at National Public Lands Day.

Coastal Cleanup Day:

77 Volunteers

231 hours donated

Most interesting pieces of refuse found: Garden hose wheel, oyster rack, French drainage tubing

National Public Lands Day:

78 volunteers

257.5 hours donated

6 miles Trail of trail cleared of litter, 1 mile of Drakes Estero Shoreline cleaned, 4 full 33 gallon trash bags filled of invasive cape ivy, 1.5 acres cleared of invasive scotchs broom.

If you’ve read my whole blog post here is your reward, a family of River Otters spotted before Coastal Cleanup Day.

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Joey Negreann

Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Point Reyes National Seashore