National Coastal Cleanup Day is celebrated every year on the 3rd Saturday of September. This is a day where everyone can make a difference in keeping our oceans and beaches clean.
Coastal Cleanup Can be Done From Anywhere!
The ocean sustains our world with basic needs. You may not even realize that the ocean produces half of the oxygen in the air that we breathe and is an essential part of the water cycle which helps provide the water we drink. You can help whether you live in a beach house or hundreds of miles from a beach.
The beaches support ocean health. They provided habitats and nesting grounds for very important marine wildlife such as sea turtles and birds. Beaches also attract tourists from around the world, and are an important economic entity for hundreds of islands and beach towns. Trash that gets dumped in the ocean often finds its way to our beaches.
Ocean trash is one of the most serious pollution problems in the world. Not only is it ugly, but the trash in the water affects the health of wildlife, people, and the economy.
Trash in the water can cause injuries to swimmers and beach tourists. It can harm or kill the wildlife that try to eat it or get trapped in it. The trash can also detract tourists who spend money that the beach towns need to survive.
This garbage can also cause costly damage to boats if it gets caught in their propellers. Pollution can affect the fish that we eat in seafood restaurants or buy from the store.
So you see—ocean trash is bad all the way around. Unlike with our homes, we can’t hire a maid service to clean the ocean or beaches. We need to raise awareness. One way to do that is through Coastal Cleanup Day.
At the Beach
If you live near a beach, celebrating coastal cleanup day is easy. There will be events set up by the city so check your local newspaper for times. Organizations will lead educational awareness talks followed by an organized beach cleanup effort where hundreds of volunteers will dedicate their free time to clean up the beach. It will be a great opportunity to meet other folks who care about the environment and do a good deed at the same time.
You don’t have to join an event if you don’t want to. Bring a trash bag and collect as much trash as you can while walking the beach. You can be the beach’s maid service for the day! In fact, it is good practice to bring a trash bag every time you visit the beach. You’ll have a place to put your own trash, and you will be able to pick up any trash that you may see on the beach while you are there.
Not at the Beach
If you do not live near a beach, consider a donation to an ocean preservation group. There are many different organizations to choose from. They will put your money to good use in preserving and maintaining our coastal cleanup efforts.
Another way that everyone can celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day is to raise awareness. Talk about the importance of the oceans and the marine life. Educate children and the community about the impact of trash and litter. Do not stand for pollution of our waters. If you observe someone littering, reprimand them or even turn them in to the authorities. Littering in the ocean is against the law.
Everyone is Responsible
Coastal cleanup is everyone’s responsibility. If you breathe the air, drink water, or eat seafood then you need the ocean. We have an important stake in maintaining a healthy ocean.
It is our job to keep it free of trash and debris. Both preventing trash as well as clean up what does end up in the ocean, needs to be done by all. Be part of the coastal cleanup maid service all year long!
The fish, whales, dolphins, sharks, and coral reef will thank us for celebrating Coastal Cleanup Day!