Sept. 19 is International Coastal Cleanup day, in which volunteers from all over the world, including Long Island Sound, pitch in to pick up bottles, balloons, cups, cigarette butts, and other trash left on beaches. In 2014, an astounding 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries picked up more than 16 million pounds for International Coastal Cleanup events. In actuality, cleanups and other volunteer activities are held at beaches throughout the year, including the Sound. In the photo above, taken in July 2014, 20 volunteers came together to pull the invasive species, perennial pepperweed, at West Meadow Beach, located in the Stony Brook Harbor Stewardship Area (http://longislandsoundstudy.net/2012/11/stony-brook-harbor/). This volunteer Stewardship Day was held in partnership with Avalon Park and Preserve’s STATE program, the Town of Brookhaven, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York Sea Grant.
While Sept. 19 is the official date, beach clean up events for the International Coastal Cleanup are held throughout September and October. For information about cleanups near you, check Save the Sound’s website for Connecticut and American Littoral Society’s website for New York. Cleanups are also listed by beach in LISS”s Get Involved Volunteer Opportunities web page.