It’s estimated that more than 8 million metric tons of plastic trash finds its way to our oceans each year! At this rate, our serene beaches might look a little different in the coming years if we don’t do something fast!

We can all help to fight beach pollution. Each summer, our AMC family hosts a beach cleanup event to do our part to keep our oceans clean. Unfortunately, this year, we won’t be able to join together in person, due to COVID-19. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t join together virtually! Let’s do it!

July 25 is going to be our California ocean cleanup event! Join us “virtually” by organizing your own cleanup project. Simply head to a nearby beach or park that you love (how can we pick just one?) with your family and pick up any trash in sight. If we all do our part, we’ll be able to enjoy our beautiful beaches and parks long into the future! Here’s why it’s important, how to plan, and how to be safe.

Why It’s Important

Keeping our beaches and parks clean is satisfying, helps wildlife and our economy, and is a good way to maintain an active lifestyle.

“There is satisfaction to say, ‘I removed ten pounds of trash from my beach,’” says Kara Lavender Law, a research oceanography professor. “Even if it’s only ten pounds, that’s ten pounds that isn’t going to go into the open ocean.”

In addition to protecting wildlife, “clean beaches provide economic benefit to local communities in the form of tourism dollars,” says Laura Parker at National Geographic. “In southern California, researchers calculated that in Orange County alone that potential could translate into $46 million in just one summer.”

Whether you head to Stearns Champions or Marina Vista Park or take a trip to Junipero or Belmont Shore Beach, each piece of trash you pick up makes your world a little more beautiful! Plus, this activity will be a good way to burn some calories too!

How to Plan

Mark July 25 or another date that works best for your crew on your calendar! Then, get to work gathering the necessary supplies:

  • Trash bags
  • Paper lawn and refuse bags for yard waste
  • Gloves
  • Brooms, dustpans, and buckets for cigarette butts and glass
  • First aid kit

Also, don’t forget to keep your energy up by bringing plenty of water and some high-protein snacks for you and your group!

How to Be Safe

COVID-19 is still a risk, so be cautious and courteous when planning your event. If you’re extending your California ocean cleanup invitation to those living outside of your immediate household, be sure to follow this guidance from the CDC: “When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.” And in keeping with California’s mask mandate, wear your mask “when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.”

Cleaning up beaches and parks really makes a difference in our community, and it’s also a fun and feel-good way to enjoy the outdoors this summer! So join us for our California ocean cleanup effort on July 25 or anytime during the month of July! Be sure to tag The Circle Apartments at Long Beach in your photos and use the hashtags #AMCcleanup and #livehappy. We can’t wait to follow along and see the difference we’re making together!