Volunteer crews up and down the coast participated in California Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 21. This is a noble cause, and when you’re out scouring beaches and creek beds for litter the unfortunate reality is it’s not hard to find.

We adopted a portion of Franklin Creek in Carpinteria that flows from agricultural areas to an urban neighborhood, where the creek runs through a concrete channel to Carpinteria Salt Marsh, one of California’s last remaining coastal wetlands. In all, the 20 CARP Growers volunteers collected over 100 pounds of trash.

Mostly we found water bottles, over 50 of them. There was also a curious smattering of miscellany like eye shadow, a shoe, a coat and perfume bottles.

We successfully accomplished the day’s mission with a little help from our friends. It also provided a great opportunity to reflect on what we can do to always be aware of the importance of the creeks and our entire watershed that ultimately drains into the ocean.

We start by recycling all of our water so it doesn’t run off into creeks. We don’t use pesticides that could leach into the ground and eventually the water table or our creeks. Cannabis is a new crop, so we all have to do our part to adjust to current restrictions on water use and pollution. It’s all in the name of protecting the planet for future generations.