On Saturday, September 19th, NOAA staff across the country participated in another successful International Coastal Cleanup, lead by Ocean Conservancy. The ORR Marine Debris Program has funded this cleanup for the past six years and helped the Ocean Conservancy mark their 24th year for this event. NOAA officially had 5 sites this year—four sites on the actual ICC day and Chincoteague, VA whose data will be submitted in the coming weeks. NOS Deputy AA (Acting) David Kennedy helped to kick off the Washington, DC event, while NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco provided words of inspiration to volunteers in southern California. Representatives from the offices of Senator Begich, Congressman Baird, and Congresswoman Capps also joined in the effort.
Stories from the field include the determination to clean up while at the same time avoiding an intense lightning storm in Miami, FL; a picture perfect day in Washington, DC for over 40 NOAA volunteers to clean up the shores of the Anacostia River and Rock Creek; collecting over 390 lbs. of marine debris from the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor to Magic Island on Oahu, HI; and a community response that was so strong in Seattle that staff had to work with Seattle Parks Department to identify a second site to accommodate the 80+ volunteers.