September 17 2019

Surfrider Volunteers Remove 300,000 Pounds of Trash from U.S. and European Beaches

At the start of 2019, Surfrider and REEF expanded the Better Beach Alliance to include Surfrider Europe's beach cleanup program. Collective goals were set to remove 300,000 pounds of trash and recycling from beaches and waterways across the United States and Europe, through the efforts of an anticipated 90,000 volunteers at about 2,450 beach cleanups.

This month, we are proud to announce that with our friends at Surfrider Foundation Europe and all of the volunteers that have participated in Surfrider Foundation cleanups this year, we have surpassed these international milestones- just in time to compound these impacts on International Coastal Cleanup Day!

So Far in 2019...

Here in the United States, at least 179,574 pounds of trash and recycling have been removed from beaches and waterways by 24,827 volunteers at 512 cleanups reported by Surfrider chapters, additionally supported by Clif Bar and Costa.

Throughout Europe, an estimated 121,625 pounds of trash have been removed from beaches and waterways by about 77,840 Surfrider Europe volunteers at 1,946 reported cleanups since the beginning of the year.

Together, around 301,199 pounds of trash have been removed by about 102,667 volunteers at 2,458 reported cleanups internationally. "As a brand, we are motivated by the results of this continued global alliance and a better beach for the future," said Shea Perkins, REEF Senior Manager of Culture and Impact Marketing, of this achievement.

While this is an epic feat and we are so grateful for the volunteers that make this type of impact possible, the resounding message from these results is that beach cleanups alone will not end ocean and coastal pollution. The good news is: that's precisely why they're important.

Surfrider Beach Cleanups Are Part of Something Bigger

At every Surfrider beach cleanup, data is collected by citizen scientists- you, your family, and friends- and reported to our nationwide database by local volunteers. With this data, Surfrider staff and activists can more effectively advocoate for positive policies and legislation, to help prevent inundation of plastic pollution in our oceans becoming the reality of future generations.

Each year, International Coastal Cleanup Day engages volunteers in over 100 countries, coming together to clean their local beaches and reporting their data to organizations who then use it to advocate for positive change. This Saturday, September 21st, we invite you to join the Better Beach Alliance in making an impact. All you have to do is:

  1. Find your local Surfrider Chapter
  2. Locate their International Coastal Cleanup Day event (generally on chapter website or Facebook)
  3. Show up! Bring a friend and make a nice morning at the beach of it (and don't forget your reef-friendly sunscreen!)
  4. Be sure to fill out a data card so that your impact can be used to empower Surfrider's fight for our ocean, waves and beaches.
  5. Create something from what you collect, snap a photo, and post it to Instagram and tag @Surfrider and #SurfriderFound to submit it to our annual Found Objects Contest!