This is a post by the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Asma Mahdi.
Last year on a September Saturday, nearly 600,000 people combed the world’s beaches and uncovered 195 lost cell phones at the International Coastal Cleanup. (Along with a few other strange finds—155 toilet seats??)
Want to guess how many total pounds of trash were picked up during this concerted cleanup effort? In 2011, volunteers found 9,184,428 pounds of garbage, with cigarette butts leading the charge as the top item collected:
This will mark the 27th year for the annual International Coastal Cleanup put on by Ocean Conservancy, and for the past seven years, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has helped fund this effort. Volunteers in more than 96 participating countries will head out to clean up their local beaches, waterways, and even neighborhoods. Over the past 26 years, more than 9 million volunteers have removed 153,790,918 pounds of trash!
How much trash will you help clean up this year?
Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 15th and sign up to clean up on the largest one-day volunteer ocean cleanup! Find a site near you and help keep the sea free of debris.
Asma Mahdi is an Outreach and Communications Specialist for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, a division of the Office of Response and Restoration.