Nea Facilitators and learners help in coastal clean-up efforts...
ALAMEDA -- Colette Ratliff, on her hands and knees, sifted through the Crown Memorial State Beach sand on Saturday, picking up tiny pieces of garbage and placing them into her bag.
"It's the tiny pieces of plastic that I'm concerned with," the 54-year-old Oakland resident said. "Animals will eat it."
Ratliff and her Alameda library colleagues were just some of the 457 volunteers to show up to the 2.5-mile beach Saturday, one of many Coastal Cleanup sites across the state.
Cherian Zachariah, 44, of Alameda, came with his wife, son and daughter and strolled along the water's edge.
"We keep talking about the reuse of resources," Zachariah said. "We can't keep treating the environment like a trash can. We've got to clean it up."
The family held a bucket and bag full of a beer bottle, cigarette butts, a plastic straw, crochet cross and bottle cap.
Zachariah's 10-year-old son, Sam, a fifth-grader at Nea Community Learning Center in Alameda, was completing his two-hour community service requirement.
"We're learning about our community at school, but if we don't help the community, there's nothing to learn about," he said.
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