Ocean Conservancy's 25th Annual International Coastal Cleanup - September 25th

As boaters, you have a deep and real connection to the oceans, lakes, and rivers on which you sail and glide. While every day on the water is a good chance to keep things clean and perhaps clean up some garbage others have left behind, there is one day each year where individuals from all over the world will be taking part with you.

On September 25, 2010, Ocean Conservancy will be activating the world’s largest volunteer network for our ocean, lakes, and rivers through the 25th annual International Coastal Cleanup. What had started out as a local beach cleanup in Texas has rapidly grown into a global movement of ocean conservation and we invite your readers to join us. Just last year, over 500,000 volunteers from more than 100 countries gathered together to remove over seven million pounds of marine debris. But they don’t just remove trash and debris – they record data on every piece of trash they find helping Ocean Conservancy develop the world’s only global snapshot of what is trashing our ocean and waterways. Beginning in early August, your readers can search for cleanup sites near them by zip code or hometown from our homepage: www.oceanconservancy.org.

Ocean Conservancy has posted the findings from last year’s Cleanup along with graphics and photos from around the world at www.oceanconservancy.org/press_icc.

Ocean Conservancy can also provide:

  • A breakdown of ICC statistics from all participating states,
  • A breakdown of all the countries that took part and the data they compiled,
  • Interviews and quotes from ICC coordinators,
  • And timely information on why waterfront cleanups are especially important in light of recent developments like the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Marine debris from single-use shopping bags to abandoned fishing nets is a threat to marine ecosystems, coastal economies, wildlife, and even human health. Sharp items like syringes, metal, and glass pose a direct threat of injury while toxins that leach from trash pose longer-term, unknown risks.

Trash that reaches the ocean can outlive us by generations—traveling long distances, breaking down into smaller pieces but never truly disappearing, and affecting our ocean and marine life in way we don’t yet fully understand. Among the most heartbreaking tallies is the count of dead and entangled sea life. Each year, marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and other animals are sickened, injured, or killed because of encounters with dangerous items we leave in the sea. They are poisoned, choked, or entangled in items ranging from leaky paint cans to empty yogurt cups to abandoned fishing gear. Sea turtles can mistake a plastic sandwich bags for jellyfish, eating them with often deadly consequences.