Thousands of volunteers will be combing the county's beaches Saturday during California's 12th annual Coastal Cleanup Day.
Armed with gloves and trash bags, crews will be picking up trash at more than 20 beach sites in the county from 9 a.m. to noon.
Volunteers can expect to find plastic foam cups, plastic six-pack rings and, the most common item, cigarette butts, at the beach, said Mark Patrick, a cleanup coordinator for Orange County. "It's like the world's ashtray," Patrick said of the beach.
Even though most beaches are well maintained, Patrick said, the coastal cleanup gives the shoreline a good once-a-year cleaning. It also raises public awareness and educates people about the environment, he said.
Last year's cleanup drew about 4,500 volunteers to Orange County beaches. Organizers said they are hoping for an even larger turnout this year.
Timed to coincide with this year's cleanup will be a rally at 11 a.m. Saturday supporting the preservation of the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
Singers Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash as well as several other celebrities are scheduled to attend the rally at Bolsa Chica State Beach. The event is sponsored by the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, which is opposed to development of the area.
Coastal cleanup volunteers may go to any of the county's beaches Saturday morning. Organizers recommend wearing closed-toed, comfortable shoes, hats and sunscreen. Gloves and trash bags will be provided, along with cards to record the findings.
Information: (800) 262-7848.