International Coastal Cleanup – 2019 Report

ICC 2018 Report CoverDid you know that Clean Your Streams Day (CYS) is part of a GLOBAL effort to rid the Earth’s waterways of harmful debris? On September 21st, Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) and our CYS volunteers joined the Ocean Conservancy and over one million like-minded volunteers around the world to help reduce the amount of debris (trash) in Earth’s waterways. The Ocean Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works to promote ocean conservation and protect marine wildlife from a number of global challenges, including the increasing amount of trash in waters around the world.

In an effort to raise awareness on this environmental issue, the Ocean Conservancy facilitates the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) each year, and has for the past 33 years. The ICC takes place in September, and engages partners and volunteers from countries all over the world in the largest concerted cleanup of oceans, coasts, and freshwater resources in the world. Following the ICC, the Ocean Conservancy reports on the type and amount of debris collected by all of its partners (including PCS) through the publication of an engaging and informative ICC Report. The 2019 ICC Report is available by clicking here. Two of the big takeaway statistics from the 2018 ICC are as follows; more than 1 million volunteers participated worldwide and these volunteers collected approximately 23 million pounds of trash. Our Clean Your Streams volunteers definitely contributed this that huge amount of trash by removing approximately 35 thousand pounds of trash from Toledo-area waterways!

The ICC Report also breaks the data down by type of trash collected. Last year, cigarette butts, food wrappers, and straws/stirrers came in at the top three spots, respectively. The data from CYS22 in 2018 painted a similar picture, with food wrappers and cigarette butts coming in on our top five list, and straws/stirrers coming in at number 15.

The presence of trash in our waterways (marine and fresh) results in large-scale economic losses, wildlife habitat damage, and wildlife population declines. But, public awareness is spreading, and so is an understanding that all trash, regardless of where it is discarded, is contributing to the global debris crisis. We look forward to CYS each year so that we can work together again on ICC Day to address this issue and improve the health of our globl waters!