International Coastal Cleanup set Sep. 16

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Save The Bay is calling all community members who love Rhode Island’s shoreline and want to do something good in our community.

Saturday, September 16 is the International Coastal Cleanup, and thousands of volunteers are needed to help remove litter and debris from more than 80 beaches and shoreline throughout the Ocean State.

The International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Ocean Conservancy and locally by Save The Bay, is the largest global volunteer effort on behalf of the ocean. To register as a volunteer, visit savebay.org/icc.

"The International Coastal Cleanup is a fun and easy way to give back to the community by cleaning up the shore. But it is much more than that,” said Save The Bay Volunteer Manager July Lewis. “We are contributing to the global research on marine debris and taking action on a looming environmental crisis.”

On Aug. 3, the United States Senate passed bipartisan legislation to address the marine debris epidemic affecting America’s oceans. Data from the International Coastal Cleanup was a key part of testimony supporting that bill. Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone, who testified before a Senate subcommittee, said, "...passage of this bill is a wonderful example of how our local volunteers, through their involvement in the International Coastal Cleanup in Rhode Island, have helped influence a significant policy development at the federal level.”

Cleanup sites on Sep. 16 will stretch from Smithfield to Block Island. For volunteers who aren’t available on Sep. 16, cleanups will be held on alternate dates in September and October.

At each cleanup, beach captains give volunteers gloves, trash bags, pencils, and a sheet on which to record and tally what they pick up. Volunteers then head out, often in pairs or small groups, on the hunt for cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottles and cans, abandoned fishing line and more.

At the end of the cleanup, all the data from Rhode Island’s cleanups become part of an annual report on marine debris around the globe. Last year in Rhode Island, 2,205 volunteers collected and removed 14,911 pounds of trash from 65 miles of shoreline.

"It's always so terrific to see thousands of volunteers participate in this event,” said Lewis. “There are so many people who care so deeply about our shoreline, and who are willing to say ‘It's not OK to trash the Bay!’”

Rhode Island’s International Coastal Cleanup is supported by local businesses and corporations offering financial support and volunteer teams. Save The Bay thanks current sponsors –Citizens Bank, National Grid, Tanury Industries, Gemalto, Caster Communications, Strategic Retirement Partners, South County Tourism Council, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Bay Coast Bank. MetLife, and Matunuck Properties – who make the cleanup possible.

New cleanup sites will continue to be added over the next month. Volunteers are still needed at these locations in Cranston and Warwick. Cranston:

Stillhouse Cove, 10 a.m. – noon

Tongue Pond (Sept 20, 10 a.m. – noon)

Warwick:

Apponaug Cove, 10 a.m. – noon

Chepiwanoxet Point, 10 a.m. – noon

Longmeadow Fishing Area, 10 a.m. – noon

Oakland Beach, 10 a.m. – noon

Rocky Point, 10 a.m. – noon

Salter Grove, 10 a.m. – noon

Warwick City Park, 10 a.m. – noon For more information about the International Coastal Cleanup visit www.savebay.org/icc.

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