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A Voice for Our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy to #TeamSeas Community and Wildlife Lovers Everywhere: “The ocean needs you this September”

With plastic pollution at crisis levels, nonprofit calls for volunteers to join 37th International Coastal Cleanup and #SeatheChange for themselves.

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WASHINGTON, DC: Ocean Conservancy is calling for volunteers to join the 37th International Coastal Cleanup®, the world’s largest annual beach and waterway cleanup effort, beginning on September 17th. With plastic pollution at crisis levels, International Coastal Cleanup organizers are appealing to everyone to channel a shared love of the ocean into action by joining a cleanup in their area; and with an influx of new volunteers from the #TeamSeas community, cleanup organizers are excited for an even bigger turnout this year.

“Plastics aren’t leaving our beaches and waterways on their own – but together, we can do something about it. That’s why Ocean Conservancy is calling on volunteers worldwide to come together – many for the first time since the start of the pandemic– for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup and #SeatheChange for themselves. Every piece of plastic collected and recorded as part of the International Coastal Cleanup makes a tangible difference for our ocean and the creatures that call it home,” said Nick Mallos, vice president of ocean plastics at Ocean Conservancy.

#TeamSeas is a campaign created by YouTubers MrBeast and Mark Rober in partnership with Ocean Conservancy that raises money to remove trash from beaches and waterways.  Since January, more than 48,000 #TeamSeas volunteers across dozens of countries have collected nearly 5 million pounds of trash through local beach cleanup efforts.

Since the effort began on the shores of Texas in 1986, the International Coastal Cleanup has mobilized more than 17 million volunteers to remove nearly 350 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide. In addition to collecting trash, volunteers log every item they find and contribute to the world’s largest repository of marine debris data. These data have been used by scientists, environmentalists, governments and others to better understand and characterize the global plastic pollution problem. In 2021 alone, at least 27 peer-reviewed scientific publications cited International Coastal Cleanup data. They have also been used to support policies that tackle single-use plastics: in the last year, International Coastal Cleanup data were cited in stories about California’s recently passed single-use food ware product banVirginia’s balloon release ban, and Florida’s proposed bill permitting smoking bans on beaches.

Last year, even in the face of COVID-19 variants, nearly 320,000 volunteers participated in the International Coastal Cleanup globally, collecting roughly 5.6 million pounds of trash. The top items collected were plastic food wrappers (1,341,463), cigarette butts (1,134,292) and plastic beverage bottles (849,321).

“The International Coastal Cleanup would not be possible without the hundreds of incredible partner organizations around the world hosting local cleanups and collecting data,” said Allison Schutes, director of the International Coastal Cleanup at Ocean Conservancy. “For many of our partners, this will be their first community cleanups since 2019; and we are so excited to welcome everyone back.”

Scientists estimate that 11 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean every year from land. Research co-authored by Ocean Conservancy found that to meet a target of less than 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean by 2030, we need to do it all: reduce the amount of plastic being produced globally by 25-40%, manage 60-90% of plastic waste across all economies, and clean up on a massive scale, recovering at least 40% of annual plastic pollution emissions.

“Whether you clean a beach, a river, or a local park, joining the International Coastal Cleanup will transform the ocean and change your life,” said Ocean Conservancy CEO Janis Searles Jones. “As Ocean Conservancy celebrates its 50th anniversary, and we welcome volunteers to the International Coastal Cleanup, I’m very excited to see the ways that the ocean brings us all together.”

Visit signuptocleanup.org to learn more.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos and b-roll from International Coastal Cleanup events can be found here.

PARTNERS
American Express has supported the International Coastal Cleanup since 2018, and in that time has hosted cleanups spanning from Malaysia to Florida. The Coca-Cola Foundation remains a longtime International Coastal Cleanup partner and has supported the global event for more than two decades. Since 2000, Bank of America has partnered with Ocean Conservancy in support of the International Coastal Cleanup to keep our ocean clean and thriving across the globe. Other national supporting partners of the 2022 International Coastal Cleanup include The PepsiCo Foundation, Anonymous, Anonymous Retired Bremerton Resident, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Life Foundation, SeaPak, Breitling, Citizens, The Forrest C. & Frances H. Lattner Foundation, Garnier, The Kleid Family Charitable Fund, Stanley, Suntory, Brunswick Foundation, Enterprises, Oracle, O-I Glass, Inc., The Philip Stephenson Foundation, SeaBOS, Sofidel, The Wildebeest Fund, and Keep America Beautiful.

About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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