Thursday, August 9, 2007

Day Forty-Three - Lend A Hand

Participating in Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup

In 1986, a staff member of The Ocean Conservancy was appalled by the amount of trash she found littering the shores of South Padre Island, Texas. She took responsible action by organizing a beach cleanup. In three hours, 2,800 Texans picked up 124 tons of trash from 122 miles of coastline. With that, Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup was born.

Since that time, the annual coastal cleanup has grown by leaps and bounds. Since that first cleanup in 1986, thousands of volunteers from around the globe have cleared over 100 million pounds of trash from 170,000 miles of shorelines, rivers, lakes, and wetlands!

The cool part is, you don't even need to live near the ocean to participate. From the list, it looks like every state in the US participates, as well as several other countries. To learn how to join in, check out the Coastal Cleanup Site. You can get information on where the cleanups are happening near you and when. Most cleanups are be held on September 15th, but you can find ones ranging anytime from September 1 - October 31.


I'm betting my two little helpers and I can easily pick up three paper grocery bags worth of trash. But again, it's that small effort multiplied by all the other people around the world who show up to help that netted the Ocean Conservancy over 7.7 MILLION POUNDS OF TRASH in 2004. Not bad for a day's work.

Difficulty Level 3 out of 5

I know, I know anytime you have to do something "organized" it takes more time and effort. Now you have to work around someone else's schedule and that's not always easy. But imagine how exciting it is to be part of something so wonderful! Of course, schedules are schedules and it's certainly understandable if the cleanup near you falls on the same date and time as Old Aunt Mabel's 80th birthday celebration. If you can't make it to your local OC cleanup, write down a day on your calander when you can help out -- and stick to that pledge. Get in the spirit, by going to your own local watering hole, river or ocean sometime during the month of September and doing your own cleanup.

No comments: