Saturday, September 20th was international coastal cleanup day. 92 countries participated in this event last year with nearly 650,000 volunteers and collected more than 12.3 million pounds of trash. This year in 2014, the ocean conservancy foundation aims for an even higher turnout than in 2013 or in any other year!
The ocean conservancy foundation has wanted clean, healthy water and beaches for all for nearly 25 years. Trash in the oceans is a big issue, and they intend to work together with people around the world solve this problem for us, for the earth, and especially for the ocean animals. Approximately 1,000,000 ocean animals a year can die from plastic and other trash in the ocean. Once, a huge 10 meter long sperm whale was found dead on the coast of Spain. It turned out that there was 37 pounds of plastic in its stomach. Some seagulls have been found dead with their whole stomachs full of plastic. As you can see, trash and the ocean animals do not mix and we are trying to stomp out trash in the ocean.
Volunteers kept this goal in mind when they kicked off the 2014 international coastal cleanup with their gloves on and trash bags in hand. In Uruguay, a small country underneath Brazil, about 30 students, parents, and teachers from Uruguayan American school were ready to clean up their beach by their hometown. They covered about one mile of shoreline and after about 1 and a half hours, they had successfully filled a whole garbage truck brought by the city.
International ocean clean up day is fun, its easy, and it helps prevent the deaths of lots of animals as well as making our oceans and beaches better and cleaner. So if you missed it this year, remember to contribute next year. Even if you’re landlocked in Colorado, at least go to a mountain lake and help out because less trash in the oceans (and lakes) is better for all the living things on this earth.