Make a World of Difference
by July Lewis, internship and volunteer manager
Can you imagine 800,000 people picking up 20 million pieces of trash in one giant global beach cleanup? You don’t have to imagine it—you can be a part of it! This year’s International Coastal Cleanup is Saturday, September 15, and you can sign up to join it right here.
The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is a simple but powerful concept: volunteers all over the world clean up the shore and record what they find. The resulting report is a key weapon in the global fight against the trash that is filling up our oceans. We use the report to raise awareness of the problem, to argue for better products and policies, and to find solutions.
Save The Bay is proud to coordinate the Rhode Island’s participation in the International Coastal Cleanup. Anyone can become a citizen scientist researching this issue. Here’s how to get involved!
Sign up for a Cleanup
As always, we have a list of cleanups to choose from on September 15, and anyone can sign up. Alternate dates are available throughout September and October if you can’t make it on the “big day.” This is a great activity for groups and families, so feel free to recruit others to come with you. No prep is needed—just bring yourself, some sturdy shoes and a reusable bottle of water to stay hydrated. We’ll provide the rest!
Lead a Cleanup
It’s easy to lead a cleanup! Your cleanup can be a big event or even small group of friends and family. It’s up to you! Step 1) Coordinate a date and location with me. Step 2) Pick up a Save The Bay cleanup kit. Step 3) On the day of your cleanup, give some easy instructions to your group and do the cleanup, gathering the trash together in a pile for pickup (I will arrange permission and disposal with the town or park). Step 4) Return the kit, and you’re done!
Use the Clean Swell App
Download The Ocean Conservancy’s CleanSwell app, and you can do mini-cleanups wherever you go! Take a bag with you the next time you go to the shore and spend a few minutes cleaning up and recording what you find. Just tap the icons for straws, cigarette butts, food wrappers, etc. to keep track as you pick up. The app will automatically record your location, the distance you walked, the time you spent cleaning up, and the weight of your items. Hit submit and all the data goes to the Ocean Conservancy to be included in their database. You can even take a photo and post it to social media with your results!
JUST REMEMBER: Any cleanups of more than a few people, or where a large volume of trash is being picked up, must be arranged ahead of time with the park or the town. Don’t fill up the park’s trash barrel (if they have one) or leave bags on the curb – be prepared to take your trash home with you!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? So please come out and join us for the International Coastal Cleanup, whether it’s joining a cleanup, leading a cleanup, or using the Clean Swell app. And please spread the word—every bit of trash we keep out of the Bay makes a difference!