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Beach Cleanups & Campaigns

Beach clean-ups and campaigns include activities aimed at removing marine litter (marine debris) and collection of valuable information on the amounts and types of litter in beaches, waterways, parks, markets, roadsides and schools. The garbage is removed for a more responsible and healthier disposal and, where possible, recycling or reuse of the material retrieved is encouraged.


International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is a global project co-ordinated by the Ocean Conservancy (formely the Center for Marine Conservation, CMC), a U.S. non-governmental organization. International Coastal Cleanup is an international network of environmental and civic organizations, government agencies, industries, and individuals working with the objective to remove marine litter (marine debris) and collect valuable information on the amounts and types of litter.

The U.S. National Marine Debris Monitoring Program is coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy's Office of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Park Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard will use the data to gain a better understanding of the nature of marine debris and assess the effectiveness of current marine debris legislation, such as MARPOL.

The Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) is currently working on the implementation of the Blue Flag Campaign in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the Bahamas, French islands of Martinique/Guadeloupe).

Project AWARE Foundation
: International Cleanup Day events involve thousands of dive volunteers removing trash from more than 900 global dive locations in 100 countries and territories. Project AWARE coordinates the underwater portion of International Cleanup Day in cooperation with the Ocean Conservancy.

Clean Up the World
: The global outreach program of Clean Up Australia. Seeing the success of Clean Up Australia (established in 1989), UNEP made contact for taking the idea in a global context. After a lot of preparation and discussion, Clean Up the World was established in 1993, and UNEP has been the program partner of Clean Up Australia since then. See also, http://www.unep.org/cleanup/index.htm.

Blue Flag
: Initially Europe-wide, now Europe, southern Africa, and the Caribbean. The originally (1985) French concept of the Blue Flag was developed on a European level to include also other areas of environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection.


Coastwatch is an international educational network in 23 European countries with the aim to train and educate volunteer and students in field work, basic reporting methods and relevance of results obtained to policy legislation.


Clean Up Australia is the nation's largest community environmental organisation. The first Clean Up Sydney Harbour Day in 1989 achieved an enormous public response with over 40,000 Sydneysiders donating their time and energy in an attempt to clean-up their harbour. The next year Clean Up Australia Day was born. Over 300,000 volunteers turned out on the first Clean Up Australia Day and the numbers have risen ever since.

is major component of Coasts and Clean Seas, the Commonwealth Government's marine and coastal conservation initiative under the Natural Heritage Trust in Australia. It is a national program that encourages community involvement in the protection, management and rehabilitation of Australia's coastal and marine environments.

Gould League Bay Litter Watch
is Australia's leading environmental education organisation seeks to create on-the-ground measurable improvements to the environment through its education programmes, consultancy, publications and other activities.

Keep Bermuda Beautiful
is dedicated to action against the proliferation of litter and other environmental conditions damaging to the beauty of Bermuda.

Environment Canada Solutions
provides a number of examples of what can be done to prevent marine litter, presented by Environment Canada at the Green Lane web site (Marine Debris).

Pitch-In-Canada National Marine Debris Surveillance Programme
is co-ordinated by the organization Pitch-In-Canada in co-operation with Environment Canada's Marine Environment Division. It is designed to provide detailed data on the problem of marine debris by studying what is washed up on the beach.

The goals of Beach Sweeps are to improve coastal environments; inform the public about the extent and impact of marine debris; collect data for future studies; encourage people to behave in a more environmentally-friendly manner; and help individuals and groups organize a safe, educational and fun activity.

Great Nova Scotia Pick me up
! is a campaign coordinated by Clean Nova Scotia that encourages Nova Scotians to get together to pick up litter.

Canadian Ocean Habitat Protection Society
is a non-governmental organization dedicated to exploring, understanding, protecting and restoring Eastern Canada's "incredible northern coral forests and those fisheries that can coexist with them".

Environment Agency
of Japan plans to take steps to prevent marine pollution from plastics. Actions to reduce the dumping of plastics include public awareness campaigns in Japan, and co-operation with companies to recover plastic products (e.g., collection of plastic items at convenience stores near the sea), etc

Bonnaire yellow submarine
is a dive shop on the island of Bonaire in the West Indies which organizes and sponsors the Bonaire Monthly Underwater Clean-Up dive.

Seaweek Marine Debris Survey
in New Zealand is organized by the Marine Education Society of Aotearoa (NZ), and includes Beach Clean Up activities and marine debris surveys.

South African Coastal Information Centre in South Africa is a web site that provides much information on coastal issues, including Enviro Facts on Marine Pollution, where one can find Save Our Sea Life, Prevent Plastic Pollution, Pocket Guide to Marine Debris and Marine Plastic Pollution.

in the United Kingdom is a national environmental initiative involving local communities in caring for their local coastal environment. Groups and individuals all over the U.K. are given the opportunity to adopt their favourite stretch of coast and take part in beach cleans and surveys to monitor coastal pollution.

in the United Kingdom is a campaign organized by the Ocean Conservancy and part of the International Coastal Cleanup (see above).Thousands of volunteers from all across the U.K. visit their chosen beach, remove all the litter from it, record what they find and send the data back to the MCS. It is analysed and reported in the Beachwatch report, published every February and available from the MCS.

Bag it & Bin It Campaign
in the United Kingdom launched as a national initiative in 1995 by the National Bag It & Bin It Group. Members include the U.K. Environment Agency, Tidy Britain Group, Women's Environmental Network, Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, North West Water, and the Department of the Environment. The aim of the Campaign is to solve the problem of protecting beaches and rivers from sanitary waste by spreading the message of a simple solution: "Bag It and Bin It - Don't Flush It".

Cumbria Marine Litter Project
in the United Kingdom promotes the Bag It & Bin It Campaign on the basis that simple steps taken by the public in their homes removes the problem at source, thus keeping costs down at treatment plants and minimising risks to wildlife and human health on the beaches.

National Aquatic Litter Group
in the United Kingdom aims "To achieve a quantifiable reduction in the amount of litter in rivers and the sea around the United Kingdom from domestic and international sources and enhance local aquatic environments through systematic programmes of work."

Forth Estuary Forum Coastal Litter Campaign
, UK, aims to "develop and implement a community 'hands on' and public awareness-raising programme intended to tackle and monitor the issue of marine and coastal litter in the Firth of Forth".

Marine Debris in the Falkland Islands
provides information by Falklands Conservation on the problem of marine litter and shipping measures that should be adopted to mitigate the problem.

is part of the Public Education Programme of the Californian Coastal Commission. Any group, public or private can volunteer to clean any of one of the adoptable beaches.

Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program
is a statewide effort by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its partners to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament line left in the environment, to encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and to conduct volunteer monofilament line cleanup events.

Marine debris cleanup
in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is co-ordinated through a multi-agency partnership made up of the National Marine Fisheries Service Honolulu Lab; the U.S. Coast Guard, National Ocean Service, the Hawai'i Sea Grant; the Ocean Conservancy; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the City & County of Honolulu; and the NOAA Research Vessel Townsend Cromwell. See also the Reef Restoration / Marine Debris Survey & Removal. (Townsend Cromwell Student Connection).

CoastSweep cleanups
in are co-ordinated by Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management and organized by local volunteers, are held at more than 80 locations throughout the state. In 2001, 0ver 5,000 volunteers turned out to remove hundreds of thousands of pieces of debris along almost 200 miles of coastline.

Beach Sweeps
in New Jersey are organized by the Clean Ocean Action is one of the longest running cleanups in the world. The first one was conducted in 1985 at Sandy Hook with 75 volunteers.

Urban Litter Partnership to Prevent Litter and Illegal Dumping
is an initiative in the United States. The American Plastics Council (APC), Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are leading a national Urban Litter Partnership, a program which will focus on gathering available data on the causes and effects of littering in urban settings, and provide quantitative information on the best practices being employed to prevent it.

Keep Baltic Tidy
is a network of environment organisations around the Baltic Sea aiming at increasing co-operation, giving environmental education and co-ordinating joint campaigns to improve environmental protection as related to leisure boating and spare time at the seaside.