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UPDATE: A record-breaking 1,960 pounds of trash was picked up by 80 volunteers at Upper Carr Lake, the highest volume of trash ever picked up at a Return of the Natives Saturday community service event. 

Plastic bags, food and drink containers, mattresses, electronics and building material was picked up for proper disposal. Each piece of trash removed improves water quality, beautifies Upper Carr Lake, and makes it a healthier environment for wildlife and people.

Join Return of the Natives on Sept. 15 at Upper Carr Lake

The annual worldwide Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest volunteer event on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of people in more than 100 countries clean up beaches, lakes and waterways.

RON brings people closer to natureIf you’d like to help with the effort, join CSU Monterey Bay’s Return of the Natives (RON) on Sept. 15 to celebrate the day and contribute to a better environment.

This year’s event will include 28 sites in Monterey County, including Upper Carr Lake in Salinas. RON is recruiting volunteers to help clean up trash and remove invasive weeds at the lake from 9 a.m. to noon.

Last year, more than 4,500 volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties worked at 80 cleanup sites to prevent approximately 17,000 lbs. of debris from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

More than 80 percent of the plastics and other litter that pollutes the oceans comes from land sources. That means the debris that’s picked up during the cleanup will make a difference. Last year, volunteers removed more than 600 pounds of trash from Natividad Creek, protecting the ocean and keeping flood channels open.

Upper Carr Lake is located off East Laurel Drive between Constitution Boulevard and Sanborn Road.

Snacks, water and tools will be provided.

Return of the Natives is dedicated to bringing people closer to nature and nature closer to people through hands-on participation in restoring habitats. It is the education and outreach arm of the Watershed Institute at CSUMB.

RON events are a great way to learn more about where you live, meet new people and help protect our water supply and natural habitat.

More information is available here, by calling 582-3686 or by emailing Amanda Magallanes at amangallanes@csumb.edu.