International Coastal Cleanup: Let’s Do It!

Saturday, September 20th, is International Coastal Cleanup day. It’s an annual event, started and promoted by The Ocean Conservancy. If you’ve never participated, you’re in for a treat, because you get to help your own shoreline look better and feel better.

This concerted cleanup effort gets tons -- literally -- of good work done. Click on the image to see the cleanup results by the numbers.

This concerted cleanup effort gets tons — literally — of good work done. Click on the image to see the cleanup results by the numbers.

Picking up trash and litter and cigarette butts and plastic from the water’s edge should be a regular commitment for everybody who loves being on the water and wants to keep it clean and safe, for ourselves and for all the creatures who live in and around it. But this one day is a true global rallying point, backed by big-name sponsors like Coca-Cola (for 18 years), Bank of America (12 years) and even Altria (owner of Phillip Morris), when literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world pick up millions of pounds of debris. When you work alongside a few dozen other people on the shoreline for a couple of hours, you can actually see your own scene get clean. Then you think of the same thing happening along many miles of coastline, and… well, it gives you hope.

For an idea of just how effective the cleanup is every year, have a look at the 2014 Trash-Free Seas Report: By the Numbers.

You can sign up with a local effort through the Ocean Conservancy website (which helps the organization collect and track data), or set up a group yourself, or just take a trash bag and a pair of gloves down to the water’s edge yourself and do the good work.

See you out there —

 

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