Trash Tracker

Photo by Mike Baird         

It’s community service and citizen science wrapped up in one neat package!




Cleanups can be big or small! 

By picking up as you take your evening walk along the bay or organizing a cleanup event with your family and friends at a local trail or park, you can help keep Morro Bay clean and healthy. Trash poses a problem for local wildlife when it blows, falls, or washes into creeks and the bay. Animals can eat the trash or become entangled in it, and plastic debris can leach chemicals into the water. It takes all of us working together to keep this trash off our streets and out of our waters.

Be part of cleanups throughout the year and record your actions through events such as:


  • Coastal Cleanup Day (every third Saturday in September) This global cleanup effort is managed by the Ocean Conservancy with San Luis Obispo County cleanups organized by ECOSLO. The Estuary Program hosts a cleanup site on the sandspit in Morro Bay. No matter where you live, you can find a cleanup happening near you.


  • Morro Bay in Bloom’s Gardening Therapy Events (every Saturday in rotating locations) This local gardening club organizes weekly work parties to beautify the area with planting, weeding, and picking up trash in popular public areas.


  • #2minutebeachclean (anytime you choose) When you hit the beach or take a walk, remember to pick up what you see around you whether you dropped it or not. By helping gather wind-blown trash, lost items, and forgotten little pieces of junk, you can make a difference. Why not make the effort? It only takes two minutes!


  • Pick Up the Picnic Week (during the week of Fourth of July celebrations) The coast is a popular spot for celebrating Independence Day. During family get-togethers and camping trips, trash can overwhelm the cans at parks and beach locations. It’s also easy to forget to pick up when you’re busy having fun with family and friends. Please don’t let that stop you from doing your part and encouraging your neighbors to do the same. After you pick up, pleasefill out our Pick Up the Picnic Week data sheet to share your good work and to help us see where trash from fourth of July celebrations is ending up around the bay. We thank you!




Keeping track of the debris helps us see the bigger picture.

With your data, we can see the type of trash found most often, where the trash is rescued from, and in what month it was picked up. This helps our program see local trends that help us prioritize places to clean up, decide which items seem problematic, and inspire changes to our community to alleviate problem areas or items.

Use our digital form below to contribute your community service efforts and data to this citizen science effort.



    Team Info

    Organization or Business Name (if applicable)

    Name or Team Leader(required)

    Email (required)

    Phone Number

    How many people are helping with this cleanup?

    Cleanup Info

    Date of Cleanup: ,


    Other City or County:

    Cleanup occurred near or in a(n) (required)

    Site Name(name of beach, park, etc. or closest landmark)

    Type of Cleanup

    Items Collected

    Bags (plastic, paper, etc.)
    Food Items (straws, bottles, cups, caps, wrappers, utensils, napkins, etc.)
    Party or Holiday Items (balloons, fireworks, silly string, streamers, etc.)
    Tobacco Products or Accessories (cigarette butts, lighters, packaging, etc.)
    Fishing or Hunting Items (fishing line, bullet shells, rope, buoys, bait containers, etc.)
    Large Debris (items larger than a basketball)
    Small Debris (small scraps, unidentifiable pieces, etc.)
    Other (write in) -

    Most Peculiar Items Collected:

    Number of Trash Bags Filled

    Total Estimated Weight Collected (use scales at home if possible!) lbs.

    Estimated Time Spent on Cleanup




    Morro Bay National Estuary Program brings together citizens, local governments, non-profits, agencies, and landowners to protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary.

    Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.