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International Coastal Cleanup + KTB Fall Sweep

By September 18, 2017No Comments

For our first annual Fall Sweep, Keep Texas Beautiful is joining with the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the world’s oceans and local waterways. This partnership leverages the unique resources of each organization that will assure progress as we seek to increase public awareness and volunteer activity in protecting our waterways.

The ICC was started thirty years ago in Texas by Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara when they 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 in order to identify ways to eliminate ocean trash in the future.

The KTB Fall Sweep is a program to support the efforts of KTB affiliates, nonprofits, volunteers, corporations, scout groups and communities to organize fall cleanups across the state. This program will also serve as the Ocean Conservancy’s inland iteration of the International Coastal Cleanup effort in Texas. Volunteers will document their cleanup progress to KTB and the ICC, helping better track litter impact inland and via the Ocean Trash Index.

For decades, volunteers with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup have removed millions of pounds of trash from our oceans, beaches and waterways every fall. While most walk, many set out on boats and others venture underwater in search of trash. They not only pick up trash, they count every item as well. The resulting item-by-item, location-by-location Ocean Trash Index provides the only global snapshot of the ocean trash littering the world’s coasts and waterways. Keep Texas Beautiful looks forward to partnering with ICC to continue building cleanup and litter prevention areas inland as well. Learn more about the KTB Fall Sweep, partnered with ICC:

“Fun” Facts

  1. You help collect both trash AND data, providing information for informed solutions. Download the ICC Clean Swell app, and simply “Start Collecting” trash wherever you are around the world. The data you collect will instantaneously upload to Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. These data deliver a global snapshot of ocean trash, providing researchers and policy-makers insight to inform solutions.
  2. At International Coastal Cleanups, volunteers have picked up more than half a million straws and stirrers, making straws one of the top ten items cleaned up on their annual list. Straws pose a real danger to animals like sea turtles, albatross and fish who can eat them. Take action today: SKIP the STRAW!
  3. The top ten items found during ICCs are: cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, plastic lids, straws and stirrers, glass beverage bottles, other plastic bags and foam take-away containers.
  4. The 2016 ICC trash collection saw:
    -Enough balloons to lift a 2,200-pound walrus
    -Enough beverage cans to weigh as much as a Jeep safari
    -Enough cigarette lighters to equal ten times the height of the Eiffel Tower
    -Enough fishing line to reach the bottom of the Marianas Trench (the deepest point of the ocean)—nine times over
    -And, volunteers walked enough miles of coastline to circle the moon twice