Become a Beach Captain

Volunteers needed to be Beach Captains!

Step-up your level of volunteerism and help make Coastal Clean-up Day 2019 the best ever-covering as many beach locations on the Sonoma Coast as possible.

The beach captain’s job is the heart of the cleanup effort. You are the face of the cleanup, helping Coastwalk with everything from recruiting and directing clean-up volunteers -to ensuring that marine debris data is gathered and reported -to celebrating with us at the post-event picnic.

Prior to Coastal Clean-up Day you will attend a Beach Captain Training on Friday, September 6, 2019 in Sebastopol. During the Clean-up event you will guide volunteers with their efforts to clean up trash from designated areas, separate trash from recycling, record what they find on data cards, summarize and report the data to Coastwalk, and hopefully have some fun taking care of our environment and at our post clean-up picnic from 1-3 that day.

Help ensure that Our Sonoma Coast and inland waterways remain beautiful and most importantly help volunteers walk away from the Coastal Cleanup  Day with a better understanding of marine debris, what its impacts are, where it might come from, and how they can help fight this problem every day.

Beach Captains role and responsibilities:


  • Attend the Beach Captain Training on Friday, September 6, 2019 from 6-8 at O’Reilly Media Center (1005 Gravenstein Highway North in Sebastopol).  The Beach Captain Training is designed to teach you everything you need to know about Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 21, 2019, in order to ensure that you are well prepared to serve as a leader for your site.  Coastwalk will provide the dinner and there will be a marine debris overview as well as training in safety, helpful tips, and necessary procedures & responsibilities to be practiced as a beach captain. We should have all the clean-up supplies ready for you to pick up that evening and can also arrange a time for you to pick up more beach clean-up supplies if needed at the Coastwalk Office at 555 Main Street Suite 3 in Sebastopol.
  • Familiarize yourself with event Beach Captain Coordinators Manual which includes great information such as “Day-of Timelines”, “Safety Guidelines”, & “Beach Captain’s checklists”.
  • Recruit your team of helpers & help recruit volunteers for your beach clean-up site.
  • Familiarize yourself with the data cards (both for volunteers and for beach captains) See examples here: Volunteer Data Form & Beach Captains Data Form.



  • Show up to the cleanup site at least one hour before scheduled cleanup begins;
  • Greet volunteers & Collect liability waiver forms;
  • Give volunteers instructions on how and where to clean, safety precautions, how to use the data cards, what to recycle, and how and where to dispose of trash; Make Safety a Priority;
  • Distribute supplies-data cards, gloves, and trash receptacles. 
  • Inform volunteers of Return Time: Let everyone know when to return to the starting point with enough time to turn in their data card.
  • As volunteers return, collect their data cards and any unusual items they found.
  • Take pictures– arrange a group photo opportunity with all the collected trash or any unusual items to be entered into the most unusual item contest and email to [email protected].
  • Thank participants and let them know how much we appreciate their effort. Provide information & directions on where to enjoy Coastwalk’s volunteer appreciation picnic.
  • Weigh trash and recyclables;
  • Tabulate the TOTAL pounds trash and recyclables collected, the number of volunteers who participated (including captains), approximate number of miles cleaned up, how many volunteers brought reusable cleanup supplies, and any unusual items.
  • Report Results: Report these findings to Coastwalk using both the Coordinator Ocean Trash Data Form and the Beach Captain Summary Sheet by 1:00. Time is of the essence!
  • You can do this by joining us at Coastwalk’s post-clean up event picnic from 1-3 and bring your volunteer’s data cards, waiver forms, extra supplies, and Beach Captain Coordinator Ocean Trash Data Form & Beach Captain Summary sheets or by taking a photo of the Beach Captains Coordinator Ocean Trash Data Form & Beach Captain’s Summary Sheet and emailing to [email protected] by 1:00 or texting results to Connie White (alt. cell phone number to be provided at Beach Captain Training)


  • Site Cleanup: Make sure all recycling and trash have been picked up from all your beaches and your site is in better condition than when you arrived.
  • Please fill out the cleanup captain’s summary results sheet. This is important and can be done only by you. It is simple to fill out and critical for our records.

Please contact Coastwalk’s Coastal Clean-up Program Director Connie White with any questions at [email protected]. Thank you!

Sign up to be a captain

Please fill out the form below, indicating which beach you wish to captain. 

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