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Fighting for Trash Free Seas®

Ending the flow of trash at the source

International Coastal Cleanup®

Harnessing the Power of People to Fight Ocean Trash

In partnership with volunteer organizations and individuals around the globe, the International Coastal Cleanup® (ICC) engages people to remove trash from the world’s beaches and waterways. Thanks to millions of volunteers around the world, the ICC has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Since its beginning, more than 17 million volunteers have collected more than 350 million pounds of trash.

#SeaTheChange at the 2023 International Coastal Cleanup

Plastic pollution is a massive problem for our ocean, but even small actions can make a big difference. Every bottle, every straw, every piece of trash you clean up can lead to a cleaner, healthier ocean. Join us this season to clean up your local beach, stream, park or neighborhood. When we clean up our home, all those that live in the ocean can #SeaTheChange.

Ready to #SeaTheChange?

  1. Join the International Coastal Cleanup from anywhere in the world! Use our map to find a coordinator planning a cleanup in your region. Want something closer to home? Go out by yourself or with friends and family to cleanup your favorite beach or beloved park. Trash travels, so even picking up litter off a city sidewalk can help protect wildlife and communities that depend on clean waterways.
  2. Feeling more ambitious? Recruit friends and family to join you in a larger cleanup.Find tips on how to start your own cleanup here.
  1. While you’re out making a difference, make sure to track your trash with our Clean Swell® app! With this user-friendly app (available in a dozen different languages) you can easily record each item of trash you collect. Your data helps scientists and advocates around the world tackle ocean trash at a global scale and power long lasting solutions for plastic pollution.
  2. Share how you #SeaTheChange on social media! You can find Ocean Conservancy on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
  3. Stay up to date on the International Coastal Cleanup and ways you can become an ocean advocate by texting “ICC” to 52551 or sign up for our email list below.

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History of the ICC

The International Coastal Cleanup® began more than 35 years ago, when communities rallied together with the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline. The movement was catalyzed by the passion and spirit of two committed individuals. Back in 1986, Linda Maraniss moved to Texas from Washington, DC, where she had been working for Ocean Conservancy. She’d been inspired by the work her Ocean Conservancy colleague Kathy O’Hara was doing on a groundbreaking report called Plastics in the Ocean: More than a Litter Problem that would be published the next year.

Linda and Kathy reached out to the Texas General Land Office, local businesses and other dedicated ocean lovers, and planned what would become Ocean Conservancy’s first cleanup. They asked volunteers to go beyond picking up trash and record each item collected on a standardized data card to identify ways to eliminate ocean trash in the future.

What I have learned from the Cleanup experience is that even though the Cleanup started in Texas with a small number of 2,800 volunteers… it has grown into a massive cleanup that involves both national and international volunteers all pitching in for the same common goal of cleaning up our coastal waters and taking care of our beaches. I am proud to be a part of this global movement and I appreciate all of the help and support I get from the Ocean Conservancy staff.

Renee Tuggle

Renee Tuggle

Texas State Coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup™, who has been involved since the very beginning.

Over the years, this movement has created a family that spans oceans and country borders. It is a network that works together for something bigger than us. To our global network, we thank you.

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