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Sonoma County beaches get fall cleaning

  • Goat Rock Beach was one of the many Sonoma County beaches tackled during this year's California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (PD FILE, 2010)

An estimated 371 Sonoma County volunteers pitched in during the 29th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, picking up a total of 4,366 pounds of trash.

For the state's largest volunteer event, local volunteers sifted through 13 beaches and four inland areas, throwing away 3,116 pounds of trash and recycling another 1,250 pounds.

“Sonoma did great,” said Eben Schwartz, marine debris program manager for the California Coastal Commission. “They cleaned up 50 miles of coastline, which is about all of it.”

Despite the blustery and wet morning conditions, an army of volunteers showed up at the coast from Doran Beach in Bodega Bay to Goat Rock Beach in Jenner, plus the Petaluma River, Santa Rosa Creek and two sites along the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

The Sonoma County effort was coordinated by Coastwalk California, a volunteer organization that advocates for completion of public trails along the 1200-mile California coastline.

Statewide, with 70 percent of the cleanup sites reporting, there were more than 51,000 volunteers who picked up more than 471,000 pounds of trash and an additional 30,500 pounds of recyclable materials along waterways from the Pacific to Lake Tahoe.

Whole Foods donated a gift certificate for the volunteer who discovered the most unusual item. This year's winner was a Long Beach volunteer who found a stereo speaker with a live octopus inside.

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