Fighting for Trash Free Seas®

Ending the flow of trash at the source

2022 International Coastal Cleanup®

Plastic pollution is a massive problem for our ocean but your small actions can make a big difference. Join us for the International Coastal Cleanup® to be the change and #SeatheChange. Every bottle, every straw, every piece of trash you clean up can lead to a cleaner, healthier ocean.

From plankton to whales, animals throughout the ocean are finding their homes polluted by plastics. Our trash can affect animals in the ocean hundreds of miles away, but picking up that trash -whether on the beach or not- can help protect those same animals. When we clean up our home, all those that live in the ocean can #SeatheChange.

Mauritius_credit Courtney Jenkins (9)
©  Natalie James


For more than 35 years, 17 million volunteers have joined the International Coastal Cleanup to collect more than 350 million pounds of plastic and debris, all the while recording what they find and helping inform research and legislation across the world. Join on September 17 and beyond to clean up your local beach, stream, park, or neighborhood. No matter where you are, you can help ocean creatures enjoy a trash free home.

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. Learn how you can organize a fun and safe cleanup here.
  2. While you’re out making a difference, make sure to track your trash with our Clean Swell® app! With this app you can easily record each item of trash you collect, which helps scientists and advocates around the world tackle ocean trash at a global scale. Your cleanup can power long-lasting solutions for plastic pollution.
    Volunteer puts trash in a bag
    © Keegan Callender
  3. Share how you #SeatheChange on social media! You can find Ocean Conservancy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Stay up to date on the International Coastal Cleanup and ways you can become an ocean advocate by texting “ICC” to 69866 or sign up for our email list below:                                          
  4. Want to continue to #SeaTheChange after the International Coastal Clenaup? Visit up for Ocean Conservancy’s Action Center to learn how you can use your voice for our ocean every day of the year.

8 Steps to Safely Conduct a Cleanup

Learn How to Plan a Solo or Small Group Cleanup

8 Steps to Safely Conduct a Solo or Small Cleanup

1. Pick a Location
Identify a safe location to clean where social distancing is easily achievable. Think ahead about where you will properly dispose of trash at the location you choose. Monitor your health and the health of your family members before considering a cleanup of any size.

2. Gather Materials
Gather materials needed. This includes proper Personal Protective Equipment (masks and gloves), hand sanitizer, grabbers, trash bags, closed-toed shoes and a reusable water bottle.

3. Download Clean Swell®
If you are able, please help us collect important data on the types and amount of trash you remove. Download the Clean Swell® application on your phone or other smart device. Be sure to “Allow” location services while using the app.

4. Clean Up
Safely collect trash using gloves, and take pictures to document your efforts. Never pick up any trash items that you are not comfortable with.

5. Carefully Remove Gloves
After you finish collecting items, carefully remove gloves and wash hands and arms with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

6. Record Data
Follow steps on the Clean Swell® app to review and submit your data. Data automatically submit to Ocean Conservancy’s database when you see a “Thank You!” screen.

7. Properly Dispose of Waste
Properly dispose of items collected. Do not place trash bags in overflowing bins. This may cause items to fly away and end up back in the water.

8. Sanitize
Immediately and thoroughly sanitize any gear used during the cleanup including grabbers, gloves and buckets.
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