Volunteers of all ages and sizes came out Saturday morning for , picking up litter on the beach and in the ocean. The annual event is coordinated by , the California Coastal Commission, and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors.
School groups, environmental organizations and a slew of others participated in the three cleanups at . They filled up bags with cigarette butts, pieces of Styrofoam and bits of plastic, delivering the bags to stations along the beach.
"A lot of the good stuff might have been taken care of already," volunteer Trevor Parker told Santa Monica Patch as he brought his bag to one of the stations. Parker, a Santa Monica resident, volunteered for the fourth year in a row.
When asked why he consistently participates in the cleanup, he said, "It's depressing to see the ocean when you see diapers and other trash in it."
Nearby, a couple of girls said they found chicken bones while sifting through the sand. They confirmed that they had fun participating in the cleanup.
Toward the Venice border, a zero-waste station was set up so volunteers could eschew plastic bags in favor of their own and buckets. A nearby tent offered reusable tote bags.
The northernmost station in Santa Monica was by the , where divers discovered the most interesting items of the day. At the bottom of the ocean, they found cell phones, at least one Game Boy, a gas mask (circa WWI) and a wallet.
"The wallet is intact, and we're trying to contact the owner," a Heal the Bay representative told Santa Monica Patch.
The wallet belonged to Encino resident Kristine Bradley, according to City News Service.
Meanwhile, other volunteers found a dead bird in a storm drain, and tar mixed in with sea grass.
Roughly 11,000 volunteers collected about 44,000 pounds of debris at 65 sites in Los Angeles County, according to CNS. Last year, across the state, 82,500-plus volunteers picked up more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from beaches, lakes and waterways, according to Heal the Bay.
At one of the stations in Santa Monica, as of 10:30 a.m., more than 200 pounds of trash had been collected.
The turnout appeared strong despite the cool temperature and gray sky, Heal the Bay Water Quality Director Kirsten James said.
"Some people prefer this type of weather, so they're not burning in the sun," she told Santa Monica Patch.
Volunteers were rewarded with swag and entry into a contest with prizes including a $1,000 gift certificate to Whole Foods and coastal travel packages. A Long Beach volunteer won a new Ford Escape hybrid, given away by Ford.
California Coastal Cleanup Day is considered to be the state's biggest annual volunteer event. More than 60 locations in Los Angeles County are designated as cleanup sites. Along with the International Coastal Cleanup, which also happens Saturday, volunteers from more than 90 countries participated in the effort.
Supporters included Santa Monica's own , S & K Dive, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Boys & Girls Club of Venice, Marina Harbor Anchorage, Action Water Sports and the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center. Also, the in Santa Monica sponsored a kayak cleanup of Ballona Creek in Marina del Rey.
This article was updated on Sunday at 10:41 a.m.