What are you doing Saturday? Long Island Sound could use your help.
Saturday is the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day, and there’s a whole lot of trash that needs to be picked up along our shorelines.
Your participation will not only make our beaches cleaner but it will make you feel good for doing something to help the environment. It’s a great activitity for kids, to foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility … so that maybe when they grow up, we won’t need to have beach cleanups.
Participation also is a rewarding way to log some hours for teens who want or need to add community-service time to their resume.
Organized by the Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort of its kind. Each September over the last 25 years, the Cleanup has motivated almost 9 million people from around the world to remove more than 144 million pounds of trash from nearly 300,000 miles of shoreline.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, the most common items collected during the Cleanup are: cigarette butts and filters (almost twice as many as No. 2 on the list); food wrappers and containers; plastic bottles; plastic bags; and caps and lids.
Over the past year, all that junk – and more – has collected on our beaches again.
So how can you help? Save the Sound is the Cleanup coordinator in Connecticut, and they have a website listing the beaches and cleanup start times: www.ctenvironment.org/get-involved/calendar.cfm Click on the beach you want to clean and all the details will pop open.
If you can’t help Saturday, there are a couple scheduled for Sunday.
(Oh and you should know that, aside from International Coastal Cleanup, Save the Sound – with support from the Long Island Sound Study and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – also organizes its own coastal cleanups in each spring and fall. In the last five years, Save the Sound says its Coastal Cleanup program has brought together more than 11,000 volunteers to remove more than 90,000 pounds of trash from nearly 300 miles of Connecticut waterfront.)
Centerpiece of the South Norwalk (“SoNo”) waterfront neighborhood of Norwalk, The Maritime Aquarium features sharks, seals, sea turtles and other animals of Long Island Sound and its watershed. A celebrated place for family fun, the Aquarium also features Connecticut’s largest IMAX movie theater, plus animal encounters at sea during our research vessel’s study cruises.