BERLIN – An International Coastal Cleanup initiative is making its way to local beaches this month.
Beginning this weekend, several coastal organizations and government entities will work together to host International Coastal Cleanup events, an Ocean Conservancy initiative which utilizes volunteers to collect trash along the beach and record their findings.
This Saturday, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) will partner with the Town of Ocean City, the Ocean City Surf Club and other entities to host an International Coastal Cleanup along the resort.
Sandi Smith of the MCBP said the volunteer effort is an initiative of the Ocean Conservancy to protect the ocean, birds and marine life.
Smith said cigarette butts, plastic bottles and plastic bottle caps are often the most collected items along the beach and can have negative impacts on animals. She said trash collected and tallied from the cleanup event will help scientists focus their efforts.
“When we capture these numbers, they can focus on specific data,” she said.
Though this year’s International Coastal Cleanup is Sept. 16, volunteers in Ocean City will collect trash along the beach on Sept. 9.
Volunteers are asked to meet at Ocean City Town Hall at 10 a.m., where they will be provided gloves, trash bags and a free t-shirt.
Smith said Ocean City has participated in coastal cleanup efforts for 10 years and encourages individuals to get involved in a local cleanup event.
“It gets the message out,” she said.
To the south, Assateague Coastal Trust will be partnering with Assateague Island National Seashore and for its Assateague Island Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 30. The beach cleanup will celebrate National Public Lands Day.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, bug spray, sunscreen and water. The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Assateague Island National Seashore’s North Beach Parking Lot.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will also participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16.
Volunteers will also receive a free t-shirt, trash bags and gloves and entrance fees will be waived. Registration begins at the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center at 8 a.m.