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Join the 27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup! *September 15, 2012*

Posted by Jody on September 7, 2012

The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. 

~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

In celebration of the Great Lakes (and who doesn’t like a good celebration?), The Alliance for the Great Lakes is organizing The Annual September Adopt-a-Beach Cleanup Event. This year’s cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 15th. Not coincidentally, the Alliance’s event coincides with the Ocean Conservancy’s 27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, last year’s International Coastal Cleanup volunteers found:

  • Enough clothing (266,997 items) to outfit every expected audience member of the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
  • Enough food packaging (940,277 pieces) to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years.
  • Enough light bulbs (24,384 bulbs) to replace every light on the Eiffel Tower.
  • Enough beverage cans and glass beverage containers that, if recycled, would net $45,489.15.

“The Blue Marble”  Earth seen from Apollo 17 (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

The annual International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort for the ocean, bringing out hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world to remove millions of pounds of trash and debris from beaches, lakes and waterways while recording every piece of trash that is found. This data is collected and analyzed to produce annual reports that provide insight into the global problem of ocean trash. Using the data, Ocean Conservancy mobilizes the public, and works with industry and government to end marine debris through its Trash Free Seas Alliance.

Here is a list of a few organizations I was able to find that will also be involved in volunteer shoreline cleanups scheduled for September 15, 2012.

Canada: The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The United Kingdom: The Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Big Weekend

Viet Nam: AmCham’s International Coastal Cleanup

Singapore: International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Mississippi River Tributary Structure (Author: Shannon, Source: DEMIS Mapserver/Wikimedia Commons)

United States rivers and streams: American Rivers marks the 21st year of  the National River Cleanup this year. According to The Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project: “Land-based discharges of human-made debris comprise the largest source of marine debris in oceans world-wide (nearly 80%).”

Many towns, cities, and organizations across the US, and around the world, have shoreline cleanup events planned throughout the month of September. Streams, rivers, lakes and oceans are being targeted by volunteers around the globe. It’s easy to check with your local organizations to find out more about how you can become a volunteer for annual and ongoing events in your area. Of course, we don’t need to wait until the annual International Coastal Cleanup date. We can do our part year round.

Please feel free to leave a comment and keep us posted on International Coastal Cleanup events in your area!

*  does not specifically endorse any of the above listed organizations. What we do endorse is keeping our waterways, lakes and oceans clean – year round!*

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