Thursday, August 25, 2016

International Coastal Cleanup, Cleanup Leader Training, and the Clean Swell App

By July Lewis, Volunteer Coordinator

International Coastal Cleanup is on Saturday, September 17! That means we at Save The Bay are busy confirming locations, finalizing permission and trash disposal, and recruiting volunteers for this annual, global day of action. If you are not familiar with the event, it is pretty simple: Volunteers all over the world clean up trash on their shores and record what they find. The data is submitted to The Ocean Conservancy and published in an annual report on marine debris.  

Trash on the shore and in the sea is a growing problem, and one that everyone should care about. Trash is unsafe, unsanitary, and can harm wildlife. In particular, plastics are building up in the marine environment, breaking down into small particles, and even entering the food chain. The International Coastal Cleanup is a way to get trash off the shores and spread the word about this issue. And fortunately, it is very easy to get involved!


As always, we have a list of cleanups to choose from on September 17, and anyone can sign up. If September 17 doesn’t work for you, we have cleanups schedule on alternative dates as well. This is a great activity for groups, 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!


It’s easy! Your cleanup could be a big event, but it can also be a small group of friends and family. It’s up to you! All it takes is coordinating a date and location with me, picking up a Save The Bay cleanup kit, giving some easy instructions to your group, and doing the cleanup. Gather the trash for pickup (I will arrange permission and disposal with the town or park), return the kit, and you’re done! We will have a cleanup leader training on Tuesday, August 23, 5:30-7 p.m. at 100 Save The Bay Drive, Providence. You can sign up for the training or contact me for more information.


The Ocean Conservancy has just created CleanSwell - a new app you can use to 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 its database. You can even take a photo and post it to social media with your results! A COUPLE OF THINGS TO REMEMBER THOUGH - 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!

So please come out and join us on the International Coastal Cleanup, whether it’s joining a cleanup, leading a cleanup, or using the CleanSwell app. And please spread the word – every bit of trash we keep out of the Bay makes a difference!

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