Posts tagged with

cleanups

50 Cleanups and Counting: A Celebration of Community Dedication

Posted Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:00

By: Nir Barnea, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

On April 21, 2018, Earth Day was celebrated with beach cleanups in many places, but for the Grassroots Garbage Gang in Washington State’s Long Beach Peninsula, it was an especially important day— a celebration of the 50th Grassroots Garbage Gang community-organized beach cleanup, representing a remarkable achievement. Beach cleanups on the Long Beach Peninsula began in 1971, when the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, along with support by state agencies and local organizations, started their Shore Patrol and marine debris removal. Around the year 2000, community volunteers formed the Grassroots Garbage Gang and joined the effort to clean up the beautiful Long Beach Peninsula beaches. Organizing three cleanups a year— in January, April (Earth Day), and July 5th– the dedicated volunteers of the Grassroots Garbage Gang have removed hundreds of tons of marine debris over the years. In addition, the group has reached out to the community and visitors with a strong message to prevent marine debris and help reduce it.

The First Ever Large-Scale Mangrove Cleanup in the U.S. Virgin Islands Nets Thousands of Pounds of Debris

Posted Tue, 05/15/2018 - 11:00

By: Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D., Guest Blogger and Research Assistant Professor of Watershed Ecology at the University of the Virgin Islands; and Elisa Bryan-Lacatena, Guest Blogger and Communications Specialist at the Virgin Islands Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

On April 21, 2018, a group of 126 volunteers removed more than 3,000 pounds of marine debris in the “Great Mangrove Cleanup,” the first large-scale community cleanup in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER), a marine protected area on the east end of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). These mangrove shorelines are difficult to get to, which makes them especially difficult to clean, and after the twin Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the territory last September, these coastlines are chock-full of marine debris. The vast majority of debris we gathered came from land-based sources (90-95% of items) and most of the items were plastic (65-70%). These patterns are consistent with those observed globally. The single item we collected the most of were plastic beverage bottles– 1,765 of them! For such a small area of coastline, that’s a lot, and it tells us that if we want to reduce marine debris in the USVI, we should be thinking about what we are drinking out of, where we are disposing of it, and where it might end up.

Celebrate Earth Day by Joining a Cleanup!

Posted Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:00

Earth Day is right around the corner! This year, it falls on this coming Sunday, April 22nd. Celebrate by taking the opportunity to join in the fight against marine debris and prevent trash from entering our ocean, waterways, and Great Lakes. There are lots of cleanup events happening on and around Earth Day; make sure you’re prepared by knowing what cleanups are happening in your area. We’ve put together a list of cleanups happening throughout the country to get you started. Don’t see a cleanup close to you? Start one yourself! Gather some friends, clean up your local community (please remember, safety first), and use the Marine Debris Tracker App to record what you find!

Campaign for a “Litter-Free Mardi Gras”

Posted Thu, 02/08/2018 - 11:00

By: Caitlin Wessel, Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Mardi Gras is a fun occasion for many cities across the South, from New Orleans to Alabama. Bead necklaces and other items like moon pies, cups, and cheap toys are a Mardi Gras staple and are thrown to excited crowds lining the streets during parades that begin six weeks before Fat Tuesday. Unfortunately, many of these items are abandoned on the street and can easily wash down street drains and end up in streams, rivers, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Learn how our partners are working to reduce the environmental impacts of Mardi Gras while keeping the Mardi Gras spirit alive and well!

Clean Up Your Community for Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day!

Posted Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:00

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and let’s remember that it’s not just a day off from work and school, but a day to think about what it means for our country. To commemorate a great man who spent his life serving others, this day has become a time to come together to give back to our communities and volunteer our time to a good cause. If you’d like to participate in MLK Day of Service, consider joining a cleanup in your area. Cleaning up your local shoreline or even just your neighborhood can help prevent trash from becoming marine debris and can help to create a healthy ocean that we can all enjoy.

Mississippi Coastal Cleanup

Posted Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:00

By: Amanda Sartain, Extension Program Assistant at Mississippi State University

Since 1988, thousands of Mississippi Coastal Cleanup volunteers have contributed hours of hard work and dedication to the removal of marine debris, which includes any solid, man-made material that ends up in the marine environment either intentionally or unintentionally. Millions of pounds of marine debris have been removed from Mississippi beaches, waterways, and barrier islands over the years. Unsurprisingly, commonly-collected trash items have included cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bottles, and straws. During last year’s cleanup event, over 14 tons of trash were collected. Cigarette butts, food wrappers, and plastic beverage bottles were once again among the most common items found. 

The 29th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup will take place Saturday, November 18th, from 8 to 11am. Come get involved!

2017 International Coastal Cleanup: A Success! krista.e.stegemann Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:15

Thank you to all the volunteers that showed up and cleaned up at this year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on Saturday! This year’s event was another success due to the many volunteers that helped collect (literally) tons of trash! This yearly event not only removes damaging marine debris from communities around the globe, but also raises awareness of the important issue of marine debris. The data collected at each event is also used to discover what trash items are most problematic and most likely to become marine debris. Check out some of the photos from this year’s ICC events around the country.

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Don’t Miss the International Coastal Cleanup This Saturday!

Posted Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:00

It’s almost here! The annual International Coastal Cleanup is this Saturday, September 16th.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and you’d like to do your part to help address the marine debris problem, join thousands of volunteers from around the world to clean up your local area. Each year, the International Coastal Cleanup brings people together from around the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Join us this year—find a location near you and sign up to clean up!

Let’s Keep Enjoying the Outdoors by Cleaning Up Marine Debris! krista.e.stegemann Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:00

This past Saturday was National Get Outdoors Day— did you participate? It’s getting to be that time of year when the weather is beautiful and being outside is awesome. Unfortunately, when you’re enjoying the outdoors, you’re likely to run into something that is way too common: marine debris. Sadly, marine debris is a global problem that originates from a variety of sources. That empty chip bag that you see on your street? That can easily find its way to our waters and become marine debris.

Don’t Forget to Get Involved This Earth Day! krista.e.stegemann Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:30

Earth Day is tomorrow and there is still plenty of time to figure out how you’d like to get involved and celebrate! There are many things we can all do in our everyday lives to help our planet and Earth Day is a great time to start those habits. Earth Day is also a good time to make the extra effort to get involved in a cleanup. You can get outside to enjoy the nice spring weather and have a good time with friends as you also work to pick up debris and clean our environment. Not sure where to find a cleanup near you? Check out this list of cleanups throughout the country! There have been some recent additions to the list, so take another look if you’ve seen it already.