International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is one of the world's largest annual preservation and protection events and volunteer efforts for our ocean, waves and beaches. Surfrider Foundation chapters engage and motivate their communities to take action at local beach cleanups. The cumulative result is not only a cleaner and healthier coastline but also a raised consciousness for accessible actions people can integrate into their lives to promote healthy beaches on a daily basis.
Some of the top five most commonly collected items on ICC last year were cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws, respectively. All are forms of plastic debris. The very qualities that make plastic an adaptable and durable product to use, also make it an environmental nightmare. Plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they break down with exposure to weather and the sun’s ultraviolet rays into smaller and smaller pieces. When these pieces infiltrate the environment, especially marine environments, they wreak havoc on wildlife and the ecosystem.
The Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer network conducts beach cleanups throughout the West, East, Gulf, Great Lakes, Hawaiian and Puerto Rican Coasts. Our national Beach Cleanup program provides a fun and easy way to volunteer and engage with our mission to protect our ocean, waves and beaches, for all people.