Vancouver, British Columbia-based global conservation non-profit Ocean Wise is launching a new program aimed at cleaning up trash along America’s shoreline, with pilot programs in California and Texas coming this autumn.
Ocean Wise engages in research, education, direct-action conservation and field projects, with a focus on tackling overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change. Its program will be built on the successful Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, which began in 1994, through which almost one million volunteers have participated in over 28,000 cleanups that kept over two million kilograms of trash out of Canada’s oceans, lakes and rivers.
Plans are for the official launch of the new shoreline cleanup on International Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept. 18. With a combined population of 70 million people and coastline of over 1,200 miles, these two states are well positioned to be leaders in tackling shoreline debris, Ocean Wise officials said.
Over 11 million tons of plastic litter end up in oceans very year, becoming a health threat to sea mammals and fish. While efforts are increasing to clean up shorelines where all this trash ends up, others are researching how these plastics can be recycle into useful products, from sports equipment to building materials, products can themselves again then be recycled to other useful products.
“Saving our oceans is only possible with many people taking practical actions in their lives,” said Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. The program has not only keeping plastics out of our oceans, but has influenced important government policies and changes to business practices, Gustavsson said. “Now, with the support of Tru Earth, we can’t wait to get millions of Americans involved in turning the tide on ocean plastics with the Ocean Wise Great American Shoreline Cleanup.”
Tru Earth, also based in Vancouver, is an eco-friendly household product firm committed to eliminating plastics from landfills and oceans.