In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup com­ing on Sept. 17

Record Observer - - News - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­

STEVENSVILLE — The Ocean Con­ser­vancy’s 30th an­nual In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup is set for Satur­day, Sept. 17, at sites around the world. Lo­cally. Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups founder Kristin Weed is co­or­di­nat­ing the cleanup ef­fort.

In 2015, 136 vol­un­teers helped clean nine sites around the county, Weed said. They recorded more than 13,000 pieces of trash — the equiv­a­lent to 3,650 pounds.

“We record ev­ery­thing we pick up,” Weed said. Clip­boards and forms are pro­vided; each vol­un­teer uses hash marks to track the trash col­lected. The records be­come part of the Ocean Con­ser­vancy’s Ocean trash in­dex, which is the world’s largest item-by-item, lo­ca­tion-by-lo­ca­tion data­base of trash found along the shore.

Glob­ally, more than 18 mil­lion pounds of trash was col­lected in the 2015 one-day cleanup blitz, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the Ocean Con­ser­vancy in May. Among the un­usual items found in the 2015 Cleanup were 97 TV sets, 28 re­frig­er­a­tors, 39 toi­lets and 54 bi­cy­cles, the Ocean Con­ser­vancy said.

The big­gest thing found by KIBCU was plas­tics, Weed said. Plas­tic de­bris is a grow­ing con­cern for ma­rine life, and most com­monly col­lected items are cig­a­rette butts, plas­tic bev­er­age bot­tles, food wrap­pers, plas­tic bot­tle caps and plas­tic straws, ac­cord­ing to the Ocean Con­ser­vancy. All are forms of plas­tic de­bris.

Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups has the largest cleanup pres­ence on the Eastern Shore, Weed said, and, this year, she would like to dou­ble the num­ber of lo­cal vol­un­teers. But she would be happy as long as they top last year’s ef­fort.

“Even if we get 150 vol­un­teers, I just want to beat that num­ber,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to Ter­rapin Beach, where her hus­band Jon will serve as site cap­tain, cleanups are planned at Ro­man­coke, Kent Nar­rows, Old Love Point Park, Ferry Point Park, Cen­tre­ville Land­ing, Ben­nett Point Land­ing, Hemingway’s Beach and the fish­ing area Bridges Restau­rant and the Jetty Restau­rant.

KIBCU pro­vides gloves, trash bags, rakes, trash pick­ers, buck­ets and wa­ter. Vol­un­teers should bring their own re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle to fill.

“We just need peo­ple,” Weed said.

Any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing can call her at 410-458-1240 or email kristin@ken­tis­land­beach­, or they may con­tact her through KI Beach Cleanups’ web­site, www.ken­tis­land­beach­, or on the group’s Face­book page.

“I’d like to get an idea of how many peo­ple are com­ing and to which sites,” Weed said. Once a vol­un­teer con­tacts her and says where they’d like to help, Weed will put them in touch with the cap­tain of that par­tic­u­lar site.

Some peo­ple make a day it, swim­ming and pic­nick­ing af­ter the cleanup; at Ter­rapin, you can even bring your dog, Weed said.

Cleanups are not lim­ited to the sites listed.

“If peo­ple want to clean some­where, we want to count it, even if it’s just the lit­tle beach by their house,” Weed said. “We will pro­vide sup­plies and data cards.”

Cleanups start at 8 a.m. and usu­ally go un­til about noon, but vol­un­teers can work as long as they want, whether it’s one hour or four hours, Weed said.

Stu­dents are wel­come and can earn ser­vice learn­ing hours, she added. Of last year’s vol­un­teers, 55 of them were ju­ve­niles — some even un­der 10, she said. She added she would like to get more young peo­ple in­volved.

Any­one un­der 18 who vol­un­teers must have a waiver signed by a par­ent or guardian, and all vol­un­teers must sign a par­tic­i­pa­tion waiver. The waiver is avail­able on the KIBCU’s web­site.

Weed said she will be­gin meet­ing with site cap­tains and hand­ing out sup­plies around La­bor Day.

If some­one is not in phys­i­cal con­di­tion that they can bend and pick trash up, they can still vol­un­teer, Weed said. She could use help man­ning the sign in ta­bles, tak­ing pic­tures and go­ing be­tween the dif­fer­ent sites.

KIBCU could use some more board mem­bers, Weed added. Mem­bers of the board of di­rec­tors serve two-year terms.

The group ob­tained of­fi­cial non­profit sta­tus ear­lier this year and wel­comes do­na­tions of food, wa­ter and money.

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