KI Beach Cleanups kicks off at Ter­rapin Satur­day

Record Observer - - News - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — April ush­ers in a new sea­son for Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups, the lo­cal non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to rid­ding county beaches of trash. KIBCU will host its first cleanup for 2017 at Ter­rapin Beach on April 15.

“We’re go­ing into our sixth year, and we’re get­ting more youth in­volved,” said founder Kristin Weed.

The youth in­volve­ment is one of the things Weed is most ex­cited about this year. Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups has added three interns from Kent Is­land High School — two fresh­men, Sarah Miller and Mor­gan Flee­gle, and a sopho­more, De­laney O’Brien, who also hap­pens to be pres­i­dent of her class and a mem­ber of the In­ter­act Club.

“They came in with so many great ideas,” Weed said.

The interns will as­sist with cleanups and with so­cial me­dia, such as Instagram and Snapchat, and “each of them has to ini­ti­ate their own beach cleanup event, their own project,” Weed said.

In re­turn for their help, the interns will re­ceive credit for vol­un­teer ser­vice hours and let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, she said.

Also new this year is a part­ner­ship with Ter­raCy­cle, a global com­pany that “reuses, up­cy­cles and re­cy­cles waste in­stead of in­cin­er­at­ing or land­fill­ing it,” Weed said. “This moves waste from a lin­ear sys­tem to a cir­cu­lar one.”

Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups will be a part of Ter­raCy­cle’s beach re­cy­cling pi­lot pro­gram for rigid plas­tics, such as wa­ter and soda bot­tles, beach toys, yo­gurt con­tain­ers, plas­tic cut­ler y and more.

“Those are the most com­mon beach plas­tics we find. In­stead of go­ing into the county land­fill or a trans­fer sta­tion, the rigid plas­tics will be shipped to Ter­raCy­cle in New Jersey,” Weed said.

Ter­raCy­cle will sep­a­rate the plas­tic by type, clean it and then melt it into a hard plas­tic that can be re­molded to make new prod­ucts.

“This re­ally puts us in line with what other cleanups are do­ing,” Weed said.

Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups will roll out the new pro­gram at its sec­ond cleanup, set for April 22 at the Kent Nar­rows fish­ing pier area, she added.

Last year, KIBCU ex­panded its ef­forts to in­clude the beach by Hem­ing­way’s and a roadside cleanup. This year, they may do some wa­ter based cleanups, Weed said.

“There’s so much trash to be picked up,” she said, and more hands are al­ways needed.

Cleanups are reg­u­larly held on Satur­day morn­ings. Regis­tra­tion be­gins at 8 a.m. with the cleanup start­ing no later than 8:30. The cleanups usu­ally fin­ish by noon, de­pend­ing on how many vol­un­teers at­tend.

While some spe­cial cleanups draw a large crowd, such as the Ocean Con­ser­vancy’s In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup that counted more than 100 vol­un­teers lo­cally, “we need more peo­ple on our reg­u­lar cleanups,” Weed said.

How does one be­come a vol­un­teer?

“Just show up,” Weed said. If some­one can’t com­mit a whole morn­ing, that’s OK. Vol­un­teers can leave when­ever they like.

All vol­un­teers must sign a par­tic­i­pa­tion waiver; those vol­un­teers un­der 18 must have the waiver signed by a par­ent or guardian. Stu­dents can earn ser­vice learn­ing hours for par­tic­i­pat­ing in cleanups.

KIBC pro­vides cleanup sup­plies, such as gloves, buck­ets and trash bags.

“Bring a re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle,” Weed ad­vised. The or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vides wa­ter to fill your bot­tle, but no longer pro­vides bot­tled wa­ter in ef­fort to re­duce the con­sump­tion of sin­gle-use plas­tic, she said. A light snack is also pro­vided.

The sched­ule for this year’s cleanups are: April 15, Ter­rapin Beach; April 22, Ken Nar­rows fish­ing pier area; May 6, Hem­ing­way’s beach; June 3, Ter­rapin Beach; June 17, Hem­ing­way’s beach; July 8, Kent Nar­rows fish­ing pier area; July 22, roadside cleanup (Thomp­son Creek); Aug. 26, Ter­rapin Beach; Sept. 16, In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup; Oct. 7, Hem­ing­way’s beach; and Oct. 21, Kent Nar­rows fish­ing pier area.

Weed praised the peo­ple who work with KIBCU. Her or­ga­ni­za­tion works closely with Chip Price, parks di­rec­tor, be­cause most of the prop­erty KIBCU is clean­ing be­longs to the county.

“We have a true, ded­i­cated board of di­rec­tors. I have some peo­ple that can re­ally give me their time,” she said.

They’re all ded­i­cated to the cleanup cause, she said.

Sweet Frog of Kent Is­land be­came a busi­ness spon­sor of KIBCU last year and con­tin­ues this year, with sev­eral dates al­ready set for fundraisers.

On KIBCU “Spirit Days,” Sweet Frog do­nates a por­tion of the en­tire day’s pro­ceeds, open to close, Weed said. Also on those days, KIBCU vol­un­teers staff an in­for­ma­tion ta­ble in the evenings to talk to the com­mu­nity about the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“We had sev­eral fam­i­lies sign up to vol­un­teer just com­ing through Sweet Frog,” she said.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion can al­ways use do­na­tions of sup­plies and snacks. And vol­un­teers are par­tic­i­pat­ing in a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties to help spread in­for­ma­tion about the cause.

In March, KIBCU held a LuLaRoe fundraiser and par­tic­i­pated in Get Pumped for Pets.

Com­ing up, KIBC vol­un­teers will par­tic­i­pate in Shore Kids Con­nec­tion and at Kent Is­land Day with a booth sell­ing T-shirts, stick­ers and baked goods, Weed said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, find Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups page on Face­book or go to www.ken­tis land­beach­cleanups.com.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

From the left, Kent Is­land Beach Cleanups founder Kristin Weed and Spauld­ing High School En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence teacher/Kent Nar­rows site co­or­di­na­tor Christina Mohs are shown with Spauld­ing stu­dents who cleaned up the Nar­rows sites dur­ing the 2016 In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup.

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