Let’s hit the shore, GLOSSIES! But let’s do it with some impact! It’s time we talk Clean Beaches Week.
July 1-7 is Clean Beaches Week, an entire week to celebrate our beautiful beaches and ensure they stay clean, safe, and lovely for generations to come.
Clean Beaches Week combines the spirit of Earth Day with the fun of Independence Day and pumps up the fun for an entire week. July 4 is the most popular beach day of the entire year, but it also results in the most litter on our shores.
History of Clean Beaches Week
Humans have been harming the ocean’s ecosystem for hundreds of years with plastics, toxic waste, oil spills, and much more. Land-based waste products end up in seas, oceans, and beaches. Ocean trash affects the health of wildlife, people, and local economies.
The trash in the water and on the shore can be ingested by wildlife, or entangle animals with lethal consequences. Plastic also attracts and concentrates other pollutants from surrounding seawater, posing a contamination risk to those species that then eat it. Scientists are studying the impacts of that contamination on fish and shellfish as well as the possible impact it may have on human health.
Plastic has been found in 59% of seabirds such as albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, the Arcata Recycling Center, under the leadership of Wes Chesbro (who has since served a long career in the California State Legislature), began running beach cleanups in search of recyclable material. Since then, hundreds of other communities have followed in their footsteps with efforts like Clean Beaches Week to make up for the danger littering has brought to our planet.
How to Help During Clean Beach Week
Go to the Beach!
Celebrate Clean Beaches Week by heading to a beach near you. Consider making a further positive impact by traveling via public transport or carpooling to reduce your carbon emissions. Just make sure to leave the beach as you left it, which leads us to…
Clean-up a beach
If you go to the beach for fun, always make sure you “leave no trace,” taking everything you brought to the beach back with you. You can even go a step further by participating in a beach clean-up to collect trash that others have left behind.
Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to recycle! For more clean-up tips for your next beach visit, please check this curated blog here!
Watch and Learn
The Earth has over 372,000 miles of coastline, and each mile is special in its own way. Learn more about the beaches of the world by watching a documentary like Mission Blue, The Blue Planet, or A Plastic Ocean.