CA Coastal Cleanup and the ‘species’ of trash

by Marinka Horack

The annual CA Coastal Clean Up is this Saturday the 19th.  This will be the 30th anniversary of this volunteer cleanup day.  The event is not just for beach cleanups but all water related cleanups and restoration on the coast and inland.  The CA Coastal Clean Up is also recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, and that was back in 1993 with over 50,000 volunteers.  Ever since then it has just grown in size.

On the CA Coastal Commission website, they have a rather funny page on the ‘species’ of trash that should go extinct.  The whole idea of creating ‘scientific names’ for trash tickled the biologist in me.  The number 1 species of trash that is picked up during the day is the Flickus andwastus AKA cigarette butt which is 37.8% of all trash cleanup.  But my favorite ‘species’ of trash is Limpis rubberalis AKA Balloons because those are not only found in waterways but also on land like the Mesa.  I don’t know how many times I’ve cleaned up balloons off the Mesa because I’ve lost count.  Honorable mentions are Aqualus crinkelus AKA Plastic water bottles and Grocerus gatheramus AKA The plastic grocery bag because those are so easily recycled.  The webpage has beautiful illustrations of each ‘species’ of trash and a paragraph or two on why it should go extinct.  I highly recommend scrolling through their list and getting a good chuckle.

This Saturday the Bolsa Chica Land Trust will also be participating in CA Coastal Cleanup.  We will be pulling out an invasive plant, watering the native plants, and depending on the age and group size of volunteers, maybe pick up trash along the water’s edge below the Mesa.  If you would like to join us please email me, Erin, at or call at 714-846-1001.


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