Tuesday, September 4

Coastal cleanup

For this Travel Tuesday I'd like to highlight a global effort:
Next Saturday (September 15th) is International Coastal Cleanup Day.
Trash along Santa Rosa Sound
I know... I know... this is a running blog.
But more than half of the U.S. population lives in a coastal county. So it's not a stretch to think that many of us run along the shoreline.
How many cigarette butts can you find in this one photo from Pensacola Beach?

And our beaches need a good cleaning. Consider, for example, the cleanup stats:
  • In 2009 volunteers picked up more than 1 million single-use plastic bags
  • Last year in San Diego County volunteers cleaned up: "146,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from 201 miles of shoreline. Plus, over 2,000 of our friends across the border collected 42,000 pounds in Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and Ensenada."
  • In Broward County, FL "Over 34,000 [cigarette] butts were cleaned from the beaches and one site, which combined all the cigarette butts collected by the volunteers, filled a bag that weighed 10 pounds."

Just a couple of hours of work can have a huge, positive effect on our oceans, bays, and waterways. The cleanup makes our environment healthier and our running routes and vacation spots prettier. Few things in life are as clearly a win-win situation.

So if you can spare a few hours on Saturday the 15th, please take part in a cleanup. If you send me your photos or a link to your blog post, I'll highlight the cleanups the following Tuesday.

You can search the online database to find a location near you.
California residents can find a location or contact a coordinator online.
Florida residents can contact their county's cleanup captain.

Have you ever done a coastal cleanup?
What's the oddest item you've found?

If you have information about cleanups in your area, please leave the details in the comments.

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