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09 • 16 • 2020

Celebrating International Coastal Cleanup with the Better Beach Alliance

By rcushing

Each year, International Coastal Cleanup day falls on the third Saturday of September, and on this day, conservation organizations, businesses and individuals gather to raise awareness and take action to protect our ocean and coasts through beach cleanups around the world. While this year has presented obstacles to hosting the large public gatherings that typically characterize International Coastal Cleanup, together with our Better Beach Alliance partners REEF and Clif Bar, we invite you to celebrate with us for the entire month of September by holding your own beach cleanup!

So far this year, over 45,294 pounds of trash and recycling have been removed from U.S. beaches and waterways by 6,119 volunteers at 320 cleanups reported by Surfrider chapters throughout the country through our National Beach Cleanup progam, including:

  • Over 50,000 cigarette butts
  • Over 110,000 plastic and foam fragments
  • Nearly 4,000 plastic straws
  • And more than 3,500 plastic beverage bottles!

Now, you can join the Better Beach Alliance by holding your own cleanup and reporting your findings directly to Surfrider’s beach cleanup database just follow this simple guide to download a data card, and head out (either solo or with members of your household) to help protect your local beach! 

In cleaning trash and recyclables from our beaches, we not only remove these items from the natural environment, but can act as citizen scientists by recording and reporting our findings to help scientists and decision makers better understand ocean and coastal pollution. The data collected by volunteers (like you!) can help Surfrider advocate for positive policies and legislation to protect our ocean and coasts, and with REEF and Clif Bar's support, our data collection resources are becoming more efficient and effective each year.

After you've cleaned the beach, lake or waterway near you and reported your data, you can help send a ripple of awareness through your own network, by:

  • Spreading the word! Share your findings on social media and encourage your friends and family to learn about plastic pollution, hold their own beach cleanup, or even make some personal habit changes to reduce their plastic footprint. (Check out the Plastic Pollution section of our blog for ideas and inspiration!)
  • Taking your cleanup a step further by joining Surfrider's Found Objects Contest, and turning your findings into an art piece to help raise awareness around plastic pollution and other items found on our beaches during cleanups. Be sure to tag @Surfrider and #SurfriderFound to enter!
  • Getting involved with Surfrider campaigns in your community! You can help us keep up the momentum this year by finding your local chapter, signing up for their newsletter and following them on social media to stay current on local happenings.