Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced 12,809 volunteers from 50 counties canvassed their communities to remove 646,210 pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 2014 International Coastal Cleanup.
The information was released by the Ocean Conservancy as part of its summary of accomplishments during the 29th year of the International Coastal Cleanup in 2014.
The International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort aimed at improving the health of the ocean, bringing out more than half a million volunteers from around the world to remove millions of pounds of plastics and debris from beaches, lakes and waterways and surrounding areas while recording every piece of trash that is found.
Keep PA Beautiful coordinates this effort in Pennsylvania.
In February, the journal Science published research on the shocking extent of debris in the open ocean and projected that it will only grow in the future if land-based solutions like better waste management aren’t expanded. The International Coastal Cleanup’s Marine Debris Index provides the only annual global snapshot of marine debris.
The Index’s results are used to inform researchers, government and industry leaders as they develop new initiatives to prevent trash from harming fish and wildlife habitat and improve health and sanitation on land.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is honored to coordinate efforts of the International Coastal Cleanup in Pennsylvania. Our goal is to prevent trash from ever reaching our waterways where it contaminates water supplies, poses health and safety risks to humans and animals and is difficult and costly to remove” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “By participating in the annual data collection and reporting, Pennsylvania’s play an important role in changing the way waste is managed in the future.”
The 2015 International Coastal Cleanup is September 1st through October 31st. Any cleanup site is eligible since we all live in a watershed and all waterways flow into our coastal waters.To participate contact Michelle Dunn, Keep PA Beautiful Program Coordinator, by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-836-4121 x113.