Creating a Peaceful Planet on International Coastal Cleanup Day

International Coastal Cleanup Day 2013

The Ocean Concervancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day 2013

by Colleen Russell

The Peaceful Planet team is proud to be participating in International Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual effort put forth by the Ocean Conservancy which falls on the third Saturday of each September.  This event is a collaboration with the Audobon Society of Rhode Island, a recipient of the Peaceful Planet annual giving through 1% for the planet.  After a summer of enjoying all that the beach has to offer, ordinary citizen volunteers gather on beaches across the world with rakes, gloves, and garbage bags to clean, record, and remove the trash from the coastline.  With each passing year, the amount of debris removed becomes more and more striking.

Why Does International Coastal Cleanup Day matter?

On the surface, discarded trash looming on the sand and in the dunes is unsightly.  It affects our recreational beach experience and our tourism.  It has an even greater impact on the environment.  Spending a morning removing garbage each fall goes a long way to preserve our most important natural resource and the animals who call it home.  An estimated 100,000 marine animals die each year after ingesting or being entangled in plastic.  International Coastal Cleanup Day is a day to clean up the beaches that starts a cascade of anger, awareness, and activism for the people of our coastal community.

Can One Person Make a Difference in Environmental Conservation?

Yes!  Working together, we can help reverse the damage already done to our coastline.  This morning, our group alone removed a whopping 85 garbage bags full of trash from the beach!  We are really looking forward to hearing the 2013 tallies as they come in from the Ocean Concervancy, who is tracking the number of items, pounds of trash, and miles of coastline traversed.  In 2012, 561,633 International Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers collected 10 million pounds of trash from an estimated 18,000 miles of coastline!

Moving forward, we can make lifestyle changes that will preserve the coast and waterways for future generations.  Using reusable water bottles, washable lunch containers, and reusable shopping bags can help curb the problem of excess litter on our beaches and in our landfills.  Properly disposing of your trash and recycling when appropriate will also help conservation efforts.

Is It Too Late to Participate in International Coastal Cleanup Day?

Absolutely not!  Today was a wake-up call for the Peaceful Planet team, and we hope to inspire you to participate in your own coastal cleanup.  Next time you head to the beach for a stroll along the water, bring a beach bucket.  After you finish making your sand castles, see if you can fill it with forgotton water bottles, plastic caps, cigarette butts, and band-aids.  Everything you bring home and properly dispose of prevents injury to our wildlife, diserepair to our coastline, and addition to the Pacific Trash Vortex.  See what interesting oddities you can find!

Quick Facts About Today’s International Coastal Day Cleanup:

The Peaceful Planet Kids found 237 cigarette butts.

The largest item we recovered was a 4×4 wooden pallet.

Our team recovered a total of 643 feet of fishing line.

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