This news release first appeared on the Connecticut Sea Grant website.
Judy Benson, CT Sea Grant communications coordinator, [email protected], (860) 287-6426
Melissa Pappas, Save the Sound ecological communications specialist, [email protected]; (480) 212-6630
New Haven (Aug. 7, 2023) – Now in its seventh year, the #DontTrashLISound campaign will kick off August 12 with a cleanup of the Long Wharf area led by Connecticut Sea Grant and Save the Sound.
The five-week campaign of cleanups and social media posts, part of the Long Island Sound Marine Debris Action Plan led by the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs, will target a highly visible area of the New Haven shoreline next to Interstate 95 and a popular area for food truck vendors.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Love the Coast—Pitch the Plastic,” a message intended to encourage people to show appreciation for Long Island Sound by making conscious choices to reduce their overall use of plastics, which are harmful to wildlife and people as litter in the environment.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to find plastic items and pieces littering our beaches,” said Nancy Balcom, associate director for Connecticut Sea Grant. “It’s an ongoing effort to find ways to minimize the use of plastic in our daily lives, and to take the time to pick up plastics and other trash whenever and wherever we see it on beaches and along roadsides.”
The campaign’s purpose is to motivate people to switch to reusable items instead of single-use plastic ones, and to dispose of trash properly to protect humans and wildlife. This year’s addition to the series of colorful “Protect Our Wildlife” stickers for reusable water bottles and travel mugs given out as part of the campaign will feature the horseshoe crab. Stickers introduced in previous years include images of osprey, harbor seals, blackfish, squid and other animals that depend on clean marine waters for their survival.
“We are excited to dive into our Connecticut Cleanup season at Long Wharf, supporting the #DontTrashLISound campaign,” said Annalisa Paltauf, Save the Sound’s cleanup coordinator. “Our Cleanup Report, which summarizes data from 2017 through 2022, highlights plastics—both macro and micro—as major hazards. Plastic leaches toxic chemicals into our waters and can cause starvation and suffocation in wildlife. We can prevent a lot of plastic from becoming hazardous by simply consuming less of it and disposing of it correctly.”
Volunteers from Reimagining New Haven are expected to join in the cleanup, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Other volunteers are welcome to join. Volunteers should meet at Long Wharf Park, near the schooner pier. Parking is available along Long Wharf Drive.
To sign up for this and other cleanups across Connecticut, fill out this form. For more cleanup information, visit Save the Sound’s cleanup webpage or contact Annalisa Paltauf at mailto:[email protected]. Past #DontTrashLISound campaigns have begun with cleanups at various shoreline locations, including Bluff Point State Park in Groton, Sherwood Island State Park in Westport and Seaside Park in Bridgeport. The campaign will continue until International Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 16, when volunteers will pick up trash at dozens of shoreline and inland locations statewide. Save the Sound continues to clean up locations across the state through October.
Cleanups will also take place on the New York side of Long Island Sound, hosted by New York Sea Grant and the American Littoral Society. These will include several on International Coastal Cleanup Day Sept. 16 and a Halloween Beach Cleanup on Oct. 28 at West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook. Volunteers are invited to wear costumes to the cleanup. To sign up for one of these cleanups, tap the QR code on the American Littoral Society Beach Cleanup Flyer. For more information about cleanups in New York, email Jimena Beatriz Perez Viscasillas, Long Island Sound outreach coordinator for New York Sea Grant, at: mailto:[email protected].