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Friday, September 18, 2009

Seven Reasons to Join a Beach Cleanup

The Daily Green announced that the Ocean Conservancy's annual International Coastal Cleanup is this weekend. They list seven reasons why everyone should participate:
1. Everyone else is doing it. In 2008, 400,000 volunteers worldwide participated.

2. There's plenty of trash to go around. In 2008, volunteers removed 6.8 million pounds of trash. (With 304 million U.S. residents disposing an average of roughly 4.4 pounds of trash per day, it's easy to see how it all adds up.)

3. Cigs are king. Cigarette butts -- 3.2 million of them in 2008 -- along with plastic bags and food wrappers and containers make up the largest share of litter collected each year.

4. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch keeps growing. Estimated to be about the size of Canada, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a debris field in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly 1,000 miles from land that scientists on a recent expedition called shocking.

5. Trash kills. The oceans cover two-thirds of the planet and are home to 97% of all life on Earth, and yet simple litter represents a real threat to that life. Turtles and marine mammals choke on debris, and the breakdown of some products releases toxic substances into the water that affect reproduction, neurological development and other keys to health.

6. You might save an animal. In 2008, cleanup volunteers found 443 animals, including sharks, stingrays and seahorses entangled in debris -- mostly "ghost nets" from fishing boats, or discarded fishing lines. They were able to save 65%.

7. You can turn the tide. A recent scientific analysis found that the combined threats of overfishing, pollutant runoff, global warming, acidification and habitat destruction are sending the oceans back to a primordial stew. Helping to reduce litter is one small thing we can do to help.
I'm in. Are you?


  1. Excellent post, Paula.
    Beach trash is a growing problem. A 1" rain on a coastal city can wash 11-15 tons of trash into the bay or ocean. The beach clean-up is on-going ...
    We also need stronger anti-litter programs in all cities.

  2. Absolutely! Also, even if one doesn't live near an ocean beach, folks can clean up near rivers, lakes or even right outside their front door as all litter that goes directly into the sewer eventually ends up in large waters and the ocean. So go outside and pick up whatever you see ~ it will help the waters and everything else in the world.

  3. I would be absolutely in if I was living next to the sea...wonderful idea.

    Hope you have a great weekend dear Paula, cheers: Evi


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