Save The Bay seeks volunteers for Coastal Cleanup

More than 2,100 people needed for Sept. 17 event

Posted 8/18/16

EAST BAY — Save The Bay is recruiting volunteers for Rhode Island’s International Coastal Cleanup, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17 at more than 80 sites throughout the …

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Save The Bay seeks volunteers for Coastal Cleanup

More than 2,100 people needed for Sept. 17 event

Posted

EAST BAY — Save The Bay is recruiting volunteers for Rhode Island’s International Coastal Cleanup, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17 at more than 80 sites throughout the state. 

More than 2,100 volunteers are needed to help beautify Rhode Island beaches and shoreline by picking up trash and debris along some 60 miles of Rhode Island coastline. 

The International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Ocean Conservancy and locally by Save The Bay, is the largest global volunteer effort on behalf of the ocean. 

To register as a volunteer, go to Save The Bay's website.

“We welcome individual volunteers, families, large groups, sports teams, clubs, businesses — really anyone interested in getting outdoors for a few hours and doing something fun and positive for the environment,” said July Lewis, Save The Bay’s volunteer manager. “Cleanup sites stretch from Lincoln all the way to Block Island, so no matter where you live, you can find a cleanup near you. And if you can’t make it on Sept. 17, we will have cleanups on alternate dates as well.”

At each cleanup site, a beach captain gives every volunteer a pair of gloves, trash bags, pencil, and a sheet on which to record and tally what they pick up. Volunteers then head out, often in pairs or small groups, on the hunt for cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottles and cans, abandoned fishing line, and all other manner of litter and debris. 

Once their trash bag is full, the volunteers take it to the registration table to be weighed and head back out to start again. At the end of the cleanup, all the data from Rhode Island’s cleanups are sent to Ocean Conservancy and become part of an annual report on marine debris around the globe. Last year in Rhode Island, 2,199 volunteers collected and removed 19,469 pounds of trash from 65 miles of shoreline.

“The cleanup is so important, because marine debris is a growing problem that puts public safety at risk and threatens the health of marine life and birds. The global data help us identify the primary sources of the problem and plan the steps to prevent it at a local and global level,” Ms. Lewis said. “We are so grateful for the volunteers and sponsors that make it possible.” 

The event is supported by local businesses and corporations offering financial support and volunteer teams. Current sponsors include Citizens Bank, National Grid, StoneRidge, Tanury Industries, Aquidneck Employment Services, Blum Shapiro, Clean Ocean Access, Graphic Innovations, MetLife, Providence Autobody, Roy Carpenter’s Beach, Walmart and ZipCar.

Dates, locations

New cleanup sites will continue to be added over the next month. To date, cleanup locations still in need of community volunteers are listed below.

Saturday, Sept. 17

East Providence

• Bold Point, from 2-4 p.m. Meet at the end of Waterfront Drive (500 Waterfront Drive for GPS). Led by Marty and Jackie Metzger.

• Watchemoket Cove, 1-3 p.m. Go to 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway (this is the address for the golf course across the street), then look for the bike path parking lot on the other side. Parking is limited, so please carpool. Led by Rob Resendes.

Little Compton

South Shore Beach, from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at 125 South Shore Road. Led by Lynn Curtis and the Sogkonate Garden Club.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Barrington

Barrington Town Beach, 1-3 p.m. Meet at the end of Bay Road in the Barrington Beach parking lot (95 Bay Road). Led by volunteers Bill and Deb Dwyer.

Tiverton

Fogland Beach, 1-3 p.m. Meet at the end of 3 Rod Way. Led by Sarah deMelo and Into The Blue Ocean Alliance. 

Sunday, Sept. 25

Portsmouth

Common Fence Point, 9-11 a.m. Meet at the Common Fence Point Improvement Association (CFPIA) Community Hall, 933 Anthony Road. Led by Jono Bixby and CFPIA.

Prudence Island

Shoreline, 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at the ferry dock parking lot on Narragansett Avenue. Volunteers coming from off the island should take the 9:45 a.m. ferry from Bristol and depart Prudence Island on the 2:30 p.m. boat. Sign up in advance so organizers know how many to expect and where to transport them for the day. Led by Maureen Dewire and the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

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