Its that time of year again! The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is this Saturday, Sept. 21st. Around the globe, millions of people will head down to the beach with a trash bag and a desire to protect the ocean.
I am particularly passionate about promoting marine debris awareness, and ways to reduce our consumption in order to prevent the debris that is endangering organisms all over the planet (click here for suggestions on reducing marine debris on a daily basis!). For this reason, I am particularly inspired by the Ocean Conservancy’s ICC, because it unites people all over the world, getting them out on the beaches to see what a problem marine debris really is. Its easy to go to the beach and see some trash and think nothing of it, but once you start collecting it, you realize how much there is, and start to think about what a problem it might be for organisms trying to make a home of this trash-filled landscape.
To this effect, the Ocean Conservancy uses the all the data regarding trash collected all over the world, to put together some pretty captivating graphics and statistics about the quantity and contents of global marine debris. Among the interesting lists to check out are the Top 10 Items Found (can you guess what #1 is? Finding out might cause you to finally kick that bad habit…), and the Weirdest Items Found (One item in particular gives new meaning to “sleeping with the fishes”).
The coolest part of the ICC, besides the millions of pounds of trash that is removed from the ocean each year, is the unique opportunity to be part of a global effort. The idea that on the other side of the world, someone I will never meet is out on the beach with their trash bag, our shared concern for the ocean uniting us.
So how will you get involved? I’ll be on Nahant Beach this Saturday participating in the cleanup organized by the Nahant Beach Reservation and COASTSWEEP. Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s map of scheduled cleanups to find one in your area, or gather your friends and family and start your own cleanup! What a great excuse to go to the beach!
While the official ICC is this Saturday, there are cleanups scheduled around the world for the next couple months. For instance, the Outreach Program at the Marine Science Center is hosting a cleanup during the annual Open House on Oct. 5th.
So, when you head out to the beach this fall, don’t forget your trash bag!