On Saturday, September 16, the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society kicked off the 38th Annual New York State Beach Cleanup (NYSBC) season by hosting a beach cleanup just north of Broad Channel, NY. On the same day, NYSBC volunteers gathered at dozens of beaches around the state, from Long Island to New York's Great Lakes.
These cleanups were timed to coincide with International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day (both recognized on the third Saturday of September). International Coastal Cleanup Day began in 1986 through the Ocean Conservancy and quickly grew into an global effort to rid beaches of garbage while also raising awareness about preserving and protecting the world’s oceans and waterways. World Cleanup Day is coordinated by the global organization Let's Do It! World, which is headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia.
The Jamaica Bay cleanup was sponsored by Resorts World NYC, New York City’s first and only casino-hotel, and Eureka (founded in 1909 as one of the first US vacuum cleaner brands) through the company's #EurekaWavesOfFuture campaign. The #EurekaWavesOfFuture initiative highlights the pressing concern of marine pollution.
While more than a dozen volunteers and Littoral Society staff were scouring the beach in Jamaica Bay, hundreds of other volunteers were conducting similar efforts at nearly 80 sites along the lakes in upstate New York and Hudson River shorelines, as well as Long Island's storied beaches. For the Jamaica Bay cleanup we were pleased to be joined by Gabriel Willow, an environmental educator who has been leading New York City nature tours and bird walks since 1999, and Savanah Vinson, an NYC-based model, actress, dancer and content creator.
While the activities on the day of the cleanup are crucial, the larger goal is analysis and dissemination of data about the trash collected.
To that end, NYSBC volunteers fill out data cards about the litter they remove and that information is sent to The Ocean Conservancy. Resultant studies help guide strategies to combat marine pollution and inform policy makers, the media and the public about solutions to the problem. Data from our NY State Beach Cleanup was instrumental in garnering support for New York's Bigger Better Bottle Bill, which expands the types and number of beverage containers covered by the state's container deposit/return program.
During the 2022 New York State Beach Cleanup (NYSBC), 4,800 volunteers removed and documented nearly 32,000 pounds of trash and debris collected from over 184 miles of New York shoreline.
Anyone can host or volunteer to be a part of the NYSBC effort from August through December. To get started you only need to register through our online form.
If you are coordinating your own beach cleanup: Once we receive your registrations from this form we will begin adding your cleanups to our site list and packing up your packages with your requested materials. We will also post your cleanup details such as your scheduled date, time and any registration page info as a pin on our google map.
Coordinators: We ask that you please share the link to this map widely. Also, share the information about your cleanup across your circles too in order to get as many volunteers as possible to attend.
If you just want to volunteer, you can fill out this form just in the sections for volunteers and then visit the cleanup site list included in the beginning of this form to find a Beach Captain that may be hosting a beach cleanup near you through our Google Map 2023 Cleanup Site List.