San Francisco Surfrider Foundation

Beach Cleanups

Pounds of Trash Removed

Volunteers

Beach Cleanups to Date

As stewards of our local beaches, we take care of them through regular cleanups.

Unfortunately, during this time our program has suspended all activity. However, we cannot stop anyone from cleaning the beach!

Below are some guidelines needed for people to get out and do solo/small cleanups—we suggest all participants follow these rules for a successful solo cleanup.

  • Bring gloves, buckets and grabbers (if you have them), hand sanitizer, face covering, and large sturdy garbage bags.
  • Wear gloves at all times (if you do not have access to latex disposable gloves, gardening gloves will do just fine).
  • Bring a few heavy duty trash bags. Smaller plastic bags can be used during the cleanup, but all trash should be collected into a large trash bag at the end of the cleanup.
  • Participants must follow San Francisco city regulations and wear a face covering at all times and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet. 

All filled trash bags can be left near the trash bins on the Ocean Beach boardwalk (near stairwell 17), or near the dumpsters at Baker Beach. The National Park Service does trash removal every day BEFORE 2pm. DO NOT leave trash bags on the beach. If you decide to clean another beach you need to either pack the trash out with you or call 311 to schedule a removal service.

We do not recommend leaving trash bags overnight since they can easily be torn open by critters or birds causing more garbage dispersal. 

Since our local programs are suspended at the moment, we will not be separating cigarette butts or doing data collection at this time. All trash removed can go into one bag. 

All volunteers are encouraged to track their cleanup data here. All information and further guidelines for hosting a safe solo cleanup can be found here.

Not only is it more pleasant to spend time at a clean beach, but a clean beach means less trash makes it into the ocean. Plastics are the worst offenders because they break up into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming microplastics. Those microplastics are ingested by fish, zooplankton, and invertebrates, then make their way back up the food chain.

There are many ways to clean up our local beaches. Come to one of our scheduled cleanups, schedule a private cleanup, or clean up on your own.

Prior to COVID and Shelter-In-Place our regularly scheduled cleanups were the first, third and last Sunday of every month, please check out our calendar for the must up to date information. We also appreciate for those that have, to bring their own gloves or grabbers, this will allow us to get the maximum amount of volunteers involved!

There is no minimum time limit on how long you participate, so feel free to drop by for 30 min or stay the whole 2 hours. We look forward to seeing you, your family, friends, and co-workers at one of our beach cleanups soon!

For Private / Corporate / Weekday Cleanups, please email us and we will work with you to make the event a success! Contact our Beach Cleanup Leads at beachcleanups@sf.surfrider.org and beachcleanups2@sf.surfrider.org.

We are an all volunteer-run chapter so we appreciate your patience in coordinating the details for private cleanups.