September 21 is recognized as international coastal cleanup day, and this past Saturday our very own Gina Sawaya joined Explore Ecology and a group of volunteers to help clean up Hendry’s Beach in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. Gina was one of thousands of people around the world who were eagerly combing their local beaches for unwanted debris and trash.
Coastal cleanup day began more than thirty years ago in Texas when two women, Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara of the Ocean Conservancy, came together with local businesses and like-minded volunteers to pickup, record, and dispose of unwanted coastal rubbish. Since then, international coastal cleanup day has expanded from Texas to include thousands of cities with over 100 participating countries.
Saturday’s cleanup at the modest Hendry’s Beach brought over two dozen volunteers, more than enough to provide a thorough cleaning over the course of three hours. Similar events took place all along coastal cities around the world. Last year over 1 million volunteers removed approximately 23 million pounds of trash from beaches, rivers, creeks, and parks globally (Healthebay.org, 2019).
If you missed the chance to join a local cleanup event near you, remember, there is no shame in picking up trash that other’s have left behind on a daily basis. While events like these are great at mobilizing a lot of hands to do the work, each one of us can still make a positive impact on our own. All it takes is a little conscious effort!
Read the entire 2019 report from the Ocean Conservancy which outlines the results of last years efforts: Final-2019-ICC-Report
Explore Ecology, 2019: https://exploreecology.org
Ocean Conservancy, 2019: https://oceanconservancy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Final-2019-ICC-Report.pdf
Healthebay.org, 2019: https://healthebay.org/event/coastal-cleanup-day-2019/