October 25, 2023 • Blue Habits Tips, Program Updates
Each September, thousands of people worldwide join together around International Coastal Cleanup Day to clean their local ocean and coastal environments and bring increased awareness to the need for more actions for ocean health.
In honor of this annual effort, Oceanic Society hosted two separate events focused on plastic pollution during the month of September.
On September 16, in partnership with the nonprofit Call of the Sea, more than 40 people joined for an educational “eco-sail” of the San Francisco Bay aboard the Matthew Turner, a sustainable tall ship. The purpose of the event was to enjoy the beautiful San Francisco Bay and look for wildlife, while also discussing plastic pollution issues and other threats to ocean health, such as whale strikes.
Oceanic Society and Call of the Sea led an educational “eco sail” on the San Francisco Bay for more than 40 Oceanic Society community members
On September 30, Oceanic Society teamed up with the Virginia Aquarium, Seiko Prospex, Long Jewelers, and dozens of local volunteers for a waterway cleanup in Virginia Beach, VA. The event, which was generously sponsored by Seiko Prospex, was an extension of our 2023 Global Ocean Cleanup, during which more than 3,100 volunteers joined forces to remove 88,004 lbs (44 tons) of trash from marine and coastal environments globally.
More than 40 volunteers joined the cleanup effort and spread out into teams to clean different sections of the waterways in areas where pollution is known to accumulate. In total, we collected 198 lbs of trash in just two hours.
More than 40 volunteers joined our beach cleanup in Virginia Beach, collected 198 lbs of trash
The growing number of people involved in beach cleanups and other solutions to plastic pollution is undoubtedly a positive sign. In fact, a 2023 report by the United Nations Environment Programme, found that the number of global efforts to combat ocean plastic pollution has increased by 50% in the past five years alone. And recent studies by Pew and the World Economic Forum also highlight that 82% of Americans are concerned about plastic pollution, nearly 70% are willing to make personal changes to lessen their impact, and 70% of global consumers are willing to change their habits as consumers to reduce plastic pollution.
From volunteering, to supporting policies to combat plastic pollution, there are many ways that each of us can get involved. For ideas and resources, see our guide, 7 Solutions To Ocean Plastic Pollution, consider taking our 7-Day Fight Plastic Waste Challenge, or join our global community of ocean lovers to stay informed with tips and future opportunities to get involved.