On Saturday, September 26, 9:30 to 11:30 AM, the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor will be coordinating the efforts of local volunteers to cover parts of the eastern shore of Hempstead Harbor as part of the Annual International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy and the American Littoral Society. The weekends in September are dedicated to this program, and communities worldwide will be hitting the beaches to clean up debris from as many miles of shoreline as the number of volunteers will allow.
The cleanup is intended as much more than a one-shot attempt at getting rid of the garbage that washes up on our beaches. Instead, the volunteers who participate in the cleanup will be contributing to a massive data-collection effort. They will record and weigh the various types of debris found on the shore. The information is then sent to Ocean Conservancy, entered into a database, and analyzed to see whether there are changes in the amounts or types of debris that had been found in previous years. In the past, the data collected from the beach cleanup had been used to approach manufacturers to change the types of materials that frequently end up as floatable debris.
In 2014, the New York State Beach Cleanup included 6,800 volunteers who removed 92,677 pounds of debris from over 245 miles of shoreline! Here are the numbers for the items that made it to the top of the list in New York State: cigarette butts (49,773), plastic pieces (35,766), plastic bottle caps (35,766), food wrappers (candy, chips, etc.) (25,139), foam pieces (21,563), plastic beverage bottles (16,711), glass pieces (16,008), straws and stirrers (15,487), metal bottle caps (8,858), beverage cans (8,037), glass beverage bottles (7,777), plastic bags other than grocery (7,646).
On September 26, 9:30-11:30 AM, volunteers will work in teams to make the process of picking up and documenting material easier. All are invited to participate--students, seniors, families, and members of community organizations. Bring work gloves. All other supplies (bags, pencils, data cards, etc.) will be distributed to volunteers who will meet at the entrances of Tappen Beach. This is a great opportunity to do something meaningful for the environment--a perfect way to think globally but act locally.
If you can help, call the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor at 801-6792 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.