New York State Beach Cleanup

Sponsored by the American Littoral Society - Northeast Chapter

New York State Beach Cleanup

Background Information

Since 1986, the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society has coordinated New Yorks participation in the annual September International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). This effort has the overarching sponsorship of the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. The Cleanup is a worldwide event in which over 100 countries and almost all of our states participate.

A well-organized beach cleanup is a prime activity for learning about the marine environment its value to people and wildlife, threats to its productivity, and the actions people can take to improve it. Coastal property and waterways are valuable, not only for human recreation but also as essential habitat for wildlife. Marine debris pollutes our waters and shore, destroys wildlife, and insults our aesthetic eye. Participating in a cleanup helps people see that the choices they make directly impact the environment recycling, advocating less use of plastic, lobbying for less packaging, reusing items instead of discarding them all have a positive effect on the environment.

The American Littoral Society is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the study and conservation of the marine and coastal environment. Each year, as a major project, we enlist the aid of beach captains from local businesses, civic associations, scout troops, schools, SCUBA diving clubs, environmental organizations and individuals to organize volunteer groups to document and clean up shoreline debris. For this effort, we supply each volunteer group with materials for a safe and efficient cleanup: educational information, flyers and posters, data recording cards, trash bags, gloves when possible, an Adopt-A-Beach Certificate, and a Certificate of Appreciation. We are available to answer question regarding the cleanup, maintain a web site, contact media and elected officials, and publish a beach cleanup issue of our newsletter Littorally Speaking which lists all the cleanup sites with a contact person and telephone number.

In 2021, 4,014 volunteers, coordinated by the American Littoral Society, cleaned and documented 42,443 pounds of debris along 191 miles of New York State's shoreline.