Friday, October 1, 2010

International Coastal Cleanup Scheduled for Maine Beaches

Andrew Hayford, Adopt-A-Beach Coordinator for Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation of Southern Maine, will be coordinating the International Coastal Cleanup for Long Beach and Ogunquit, Maine beaches. The International Coastal Cleanup is a cleanup of oceans, rivers and waterways all over the world.
Every year, countless marine mammals, seabirds, and other animals are sickened, injured, or killed because of dangerous items we allow into the sea. They are poisoned, choked, or entangled in the trash we leave behind, from plastic bags, to balloons and cast-off fishing line.
“Thousands of volunteers help to clean up the water, with every piece of trash recorded, to determine the extent of the ocean pollution as well as ways to reduce the sources of garbage”, says Hayford.
“This is the single largest event of its kind”, says Hayford. “Last year’s data showed that volunteers picked up 240 pounds at Long Sands and 44 pounds in Ogunquit. The single largest item in 2009 was 444 cigarette butts at Long Sands and 297 at Ogunquit. Hayford is hopeful that this year York beaches will be much cleaner as a result of the new smoke-free beaches ordinance.
“As in prior cleanups, we will also have prizes for most interesting items found on the beaches. It’s fun to see what people find and it’s not unusual to find jewelry, coins or silly things that make you laugh. It seems like every year someone goes home with a full set of plastic toy army men”.
Hayford concludes, “I can’t do it alone. Please consider giving just a little bit of your time to do something locally that has a global impact”.
Our local cleanup will be October 2 at Long Beach in York (meet at bathhouse at 11:00 a.m. with a rain date of Oct. 3) and October 9 at Ogunquit Beach (meet at front entrance at 2:00 p.m. with a rain date of Oct. 10).
For more information, contact Andrew Hayford at andrewblueocean@yahoo or 361-1790.
Photo caption: Andrew Waring (L) and Andrew Hayford (R) pick up beach debris for the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. Lobster traps are put aside for fisherman pick up. (Courtesy photo)