Volunteers clean up California's coast

Photograph by Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle

Thousands of volunteers headed for the beaches of California this weekend to pick up trash as part of the annual coastal cleanup. 13-year-old Jason Kwang of Oakland was out at Damon Slough beach with his father picking up old tires, plastic cups, wood and nails. "It feels good to do something for your community," he said. The slough is considered one of the dirtiest waterways in the state, and volunteers say they found everything from mattresses to drug paraphernalia.

At Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco more than 70 people turned out and many of them came with their families. A local nonprofit group, Literacy for Environmental Justice, has been working to restore the area with help from local students. They had so many volunteers on Saturday that some were put to work pulling out invasive species of weeds and helping with other restoration work.

Across the state, 55,634 volunteers collected 742,154 pounds of debris -- of that, 106,500 pounds were recyclable.