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Don’t Forget to Get Involved This Earth Day!

Earth Day is tomorrow and there is still plenty of time to figure out how you’d like to get involved and celebrate! There are many things we can all do in our everyday lives to help our planet and Earth Day is a great time to start those habits. Earth Day is also a good time to make the extra effort to get involved in a cleanup. You can get outside to enjoy the nice spring weather and have a good time with friends as you also work to pick up debris and clean our environment. Not sure where to find a cleanup near you? Check out this list of cleanups throughout the country! There have been some recent additions to the list, so take another look if you’ve seen it already.

One event to get involved in is with NOAA Marine Debris Program partner, Stockton University, whom is hosting a Volunteer Processing and Community Day in New Jersey. This event is part of their Ghost Pot Prevention and Removal Project, and will involve volunteers processing about 500 derelict crab pots that have been recovered over the last year! This isn’t just a chance to help clean our Earth, but also to get involved in important data collection as part of one of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s funded projects. This is just one of countless opportunities around the country to get involved in, so find the right one for you or start your own using the Marine Debris Tracker App, and go celebrate our Earth this Earth Day!

A group of people hauling marine debris off a beach.

Get involved and join a cleanup this Earth Day! (Photo Credit: Student Conservation Association)


Join a Cleanup this Earth Day

Kids and a chaperone on a beach with reflective gear and bags of debris and a city in the background.

Join a cleanup near you this Earth Day! (Photo Credit: Stepping Out Stepping In)

It’s April and that means that Earth Day is right around the corner! This year, Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22nd, and it’s a great opportunity to join in the fight against marine debris and prevent trash from entering our ocean, waterways, and Great Lakes. There are lots of cleanup events happening on and around Earth Day; make sure you’re prepared by knowing what cleanups are happening in your area! Here are a few to get you started:


Date: April 15-22; Host: Alabama PALS; Location: throughout Alabama


Date: April 22; Host: California State Parks; Location: sites throughout California

 Date: April 22; Host: City of Oakland; Location: sites in Oakland, CA

Date: April 22; Host: I Love a Clean San Diego; Location: sites in San Diego County, CA

Date: April 22; Host: Save Our Shores; Location: sites in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, CA


Date: April 22; Host: Washington Environmental Council; Location: Washington, CT

Date: April 22; Host: Southwestern Area Health Education Center; Location: Short Beach Park, Stratford, CT

Date: April 22; Host: Keep Madison Clean; Location: Madison, CT

Date: April 22 & 23; Host: Norwalk River Watershed Association and Woodcock Nature Center; Location: sites in Norwalk, Ridgefield, and Wilton, CT


Date: April 22; Host: Town of Fenwick Island; Location: Fenwick Island Town Hall, DE

Date: April 22; Host: The Nature Conservancy; Location: sites in New Castle and Wilmington, DE

District of Columbia:

Date: April 22; Host: Anacostia Watershed Society; Location: sites in Washington, DC

Date: April 22; Host: Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Garden; Location: Washington, DC


Date: April 22; Host: Ocean Hour; Location: Park East and Park West, Pensacola Beach, FL


Date: April 23; Host: Tybee Clean Beach; Location: Tybee Island Marine Science Center, Tybee Island, GA


Date: April 22; Host: Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii; Location: Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Waimanalo, O’ahu, HI

Date: April 22; Host: Surfrider Kauai; Location: Nukoli’i, Kauai, HI

Date: April 22; Host: Friends of Kamalani & Lydgate Park; Location: Lydgate State Park, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Date: April 22; Host: Hawai’i Wildlife Fund; Location: sites on Maui and the Big Island, HI

Date: April 22 & 23; Host: 808 Cleanups; Location: sites in Kahuku and Kapolei, O’ahu, HI

Date: April 23; Host: Sharkastics; Location: Wailuku, Maui, HI


Date: April 22 & 23; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: sites in Chicago and Evanston, IL


Date: April 22; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: Michigan City and Chesterton, IN


Date: April 21; Host: Wells Reserve; Location: Wells, ME

Date: April 22; Host: South Portland Land Trust; Location: Portland, ME

Date: April 22; Host: Maine Audubon; Location: Scarborough, ME

Date: April 22; Host: College of the Atlantic; Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Date: April 22; Host: Friends of Fort Knox; Location: Fort Knox State Historic Site, Prospect, ME


Date: April 22; Host: Anacostia Watershed Society; Location: sites in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, MD

 Date: April 22; Host: Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Location: Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD


Date: April 22; Host: Green Roots; Location: Chelsea City Hall, Chelsea, MA


Date: April 22; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: sites in Norton Shores and Muskegon, MI

 New Jersey:

Date: April 22; Host: Clean Ocean Action; Location: sites across New Jersey

Date: April 22; Host: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Location: sites in Cape May, Maplewood, and Jersey City, NJ (and many more!)

Date: April 22; Host: Secaucus Environmental Department; Location: Mill Creek Marsh, Secaucus, NJ

Date: April 22; Host: WeCrab; Location: Stockton University Marine Field Station, Galloway, NJ

New York:

Date: April 22; Host: Gowanus Canal Conservancy; Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date: April 22; Host: Scenic Hudson; Location: Long Dock Park, Beacon, NY

Date: April 22; Host: Concerned Citizens of Montauk; Location: Kirk Park Beach, Montauk, NY

Date: April 22; Host: Keep Islip Clean; Location: Ross Memorial Park, Bay Shore, NY

Date: April 22; Host: Keep Rockland Beautiful; Location: sites in Rockland County, NY

Date: April 22 & 23; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: sites in Buffalo and Dunkirk, NY

Date: April 22 & 23; Host: NYC Parks; Location: sites in Staten Island and New York, NY

 North Carolina:

Date: April 22; Host: Keep Onslow Beautiful; Location: Deppe Park, Maysville, NC


Date: April 22; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: Timberlake, OH


Date: April 21-23; Host: SOLVE; Location: Portland, Coos Bay, and Seaside, OR (and many more!)


Date: April 22; Host: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Location: sites across Pennsylvania

 Rhode Island:

Date: April 22; Host: Clean Ocean Access; Location: Cliff Walk, Newport, RI

Date: April 22; Host: Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council; Location: Merino Park, Providence, RI

Date: April 21-23; Host: Save the Bay; Location: sites in Warwick, Providence, and Newport, RI (and many more!)


Date: April 22; Host: Texas Adopt-A-Beach; Location: Rockport Beach, South Padre Island, and Galveston Island, TX (and many more!)


Date: April 22; Host: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority; Location: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Date: April 22; Host: Surfrider Virginia Beach; Location: Lake Holly, Virginia Beach, VA


Date: April 21; Host: Surfrider Seattle; Location: Golden Gardens Park, Seattle, WA

Date: April 22; Host: Duwamish Alive! Coalition; Location: sites on the Duwamish River, WA


Date: April 22; Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach; Location: sites in Racine, Milwaukee, amd Manitowoc, WI

Don’t see a cleanup close to you? Keep an eye on our blog and website for updates closer to Earth Day or start one yourself—gather some friends, grab some gloves and bags, and clean up your area (please remember, safety first)!

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April Showers Bring… Marine Debris

Graphic of rain washing debris from a city to the sea.

April can bring more than just showers. Those rains can lead to an increased amount of marine debris. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

You’re likely familiar with the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” April is often associated with rainy and wet weather, but unfortunately it doesn’t just bring flowers, it also brings marine debris. With rains and melting snow and ice, trash that has found its way to our streets, storm drains, shorelines, etc. is flushed out into our ocean, Great Lakes, and waterways. Some of this trash may have even been trapped within the snow for months before being swept away with melting runoff.

So what do we do about this springtime debris? We can work to pick up this trash before April showers have a chance to wash it into our nearby waters! If you haven’t already, subscribe to our e-newsletter, which lists cleanup events happening around the country each month. Earth Day is coming up, and with it, many cleanup opportunities (keep an eye on our blog for more soon)! If you can’t find a cleanup near you, start one yourself! Gather some friends and clean up your community (remember, safety first!). Most importantly, we can all help to prevent more debris from finding its way into our environment. Spread the word about this problem and remember the 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle!) every day!

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Spring Break Means Warming Weather and Marine Debris

Believe it or not, but flowers are already poking their heads out and it’s about time for spring break for students around the country. Whether you’re spending your break in an exotic location or staying local, there are lots of opportunities to spend this time giving back while still having fun.

A great way to both enjoy some outside time and do some good for your environment is to join a shoreline cleanup! There are lots of cleanups happening around the country and across the world, so find one in your area and help pick up some marine debris. No scheduled cleanup near you? Start one yourself by organizing a group of people to clean up your nearby shoreline or street (just remember, safety first!).

If staying indoors is more your thing, you can still help fight marine debris! The ultimate solution to this problem is prevention, so spread the word to your family and friends. Feeling crafty? Make some signs to let people know how they can help. Or, take some of those old items you’ve been meaning to throw away and repurpose them into something useful.

Spring break already packed? No worries, there are still lots of ways you can help in the fight against marine debris without taking up a lot of time. One of the best ways to fight marine debris daily is by making sure to follow the 3Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle! Even though it might not seem like much, if we all put forth just a little effort, together we can make a big difference!

A flowering tree with a plastic bag caught in the branches.

It’s getting warmer out and you’re probably seeing flowers blooming, birds chirping, and… debris. Unfortunately, trash like this bag can easily find its way into our waters, becoming marine debris. Spend your spring break addressing this problem! (Photo Credit: NOAA)

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Don’t Get the Winter Blues—Get the Winter Can-Do’s Instead!

It may be cold and grey outside, but don’t let it get you down! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean our efforts to reduce the impacts of marine debris need to dwindle. There are still lots of ways we can make a difference in the fight against marine debris, even when the winter has slowed things down.

A cleanup crew moving debris into a boat with snowy mountain in the background.

A cleanup crew picks up debris in Alaska. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Don’t forget your 3R’s, which make a difference at any time of year! Reduce the amount of single-use materials that you use. Reuse items when you can. And for the items that you do use, don’t forget to recycle whenever possible (check out this blog on recycling to make sure you’re doing it right!).

Spread the word! It doesn’t have to be warm outside to spread the word to friends and family. Preventing marine debris is the key to solving the problem and we can do that through education and outreach. Many people simply don’t understand the issue or don’t know how they can help, so get the word out there! If you’re still in school or involved in teaching, consider incorporating one of our activities or lessons into your classroom. Use the activities demonstrated in our Trash Talk Webinar to discuss marine debris in your boy/girl scout troop. Watch our Trash Talk videos and talk about marine debris with your family. No matter how seemingly small, you can make a big difference.

You can still get involved in cleanup events! There may be fewer cleanups at this time of year due to the cold weather in a lot of areas, but there are still opportunities to clean up! Find one in your area or organize one yourself (remember safety first!) and use the Marine Debris Tracker App! If you haven’t already, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, which lists cleanups around the country.

Don’t get the winter blues—get the winter can-do’s and continue the fight against marine debris!

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Celebrate MLK Service Day by Joining a Shoreline Cleanup!

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and let’s remember that it’s not just a day off from work and school, but a day to think about Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he did for our country. To commemorate a great man who spent his life serving others, this day has become a time to come together to give back to our communities and volunteer our time to a good cause. If you’d like to participate in Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day, consider joining a cleanup in your area. Cleaning up your local shoreline or even just your neighborhood can help prevent trash from becoming marine debris and can help to create a healthy ocean that we can all enjoy.

Groups across the country host cleanup events throughout the weekend and volunteers are always welcome. If you can’t make it to an organized event, consider either organizing your own or just grabbing a trash bag and some gloves and cleaning up your local area. No effort is too small. If you choose to serve on your own, please remember “safety first!” Interested in getting involved in cleanups in the future, too? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to get updates on upcoming cleanups around the country.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day!

Kids pick up debris.

Volunteers work to clean up their local area at a cleanup event in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

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Let’s Celebrate Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day and what better time to think about the impact we each have on our planet?

We’ve been talking about garbage patches this week and what we can do to fight them. The ongoing influx of marine debris into these garbage patches is what we need to address. To do this, we can each think about how we personally contribute to environmental problems like marine debris, take steps to prevent it, and get involved in cleaning up the debris that litters our communities and shores.

Volunteers sort through the sand to find debris. (Photo Credit: SOLVE)

Celebrate Earth Day by participating in a cleanup event! (Photo Credit: SOLVE)

This Earth Day, celebrate our planet by getting involved in a cleanup near you! There are countless opportunities around the country both today and this weekend to get involved in cleaning our shores and fighting marine debris. Here’s a small sampling of events you can get involved in this Earth Day:

Friday, April 22nd:

Host: Wells Reserve; Where: Laudholm, ME

Saturday, April 23rd:

Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes; Where: Memorial Drive Wayside Beach – North, Two Rivers, WI

Host: Alliance for the Great Lakes; Where: Point Gratiot Beach, Dunkirk, NY

Host: Anacostia Watershed Society; Where: Anacostia Watershed, MD & Washington DC

Host: CoastSavers; Where: Various locations, WA

Host: Concerned Citizens of Montauk; Where: Montauk, NY

Host: Grassroots Garbage Gang; Where: Long Beach Peninsula, WA

Host: Malama Na `Apapa (email for more info); Where: Koloa Landing, HI

Host: Partnership for Providence Parks; Where: Providence, RI

Host: Seacoast Science Center; Where: Rye, NH

Host: SOLVE; Where: Tillamook Bay, Bay City, OR

Host: Texas Adopt-a-Beach ; Where: Various locations, TX