World’s largest volunteer beach cleanup continues

By E. Heinrich-Sanchez

Okinawa International joins hundreds of thousands of people around world for the 29th annual International Coastal Cleanup.

The cleanups as part of the I Love Okinawa Campaign® continue as part of the 29th annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort to clean up our beaches, lakes and rivers while collecting valuable data on trash.

Ocean trash compromises the health of humans, wildlife, and the economies that depend on a healthy ocean. Every piece of trash volunteers find will be tracked and included in an annual index of global marine debris to be released in 2015.

Last year, nearly 650,000 people picked up more than 12 million pounds of trash along 13,000 miles of coastline. This year’s Okinawa cleanup campaign kicked off on Sep. 20th at Matsuda Beach in Henoko. Although over 5,500 people were at the beach to protest the planned landfill of Oura Bay and Henoko Beach, only one bag of trash was collected. This beach is cleaned on a regular basis sometimes with the help of US Marines from Camp Schwab next door.

Keeping our ocean free from trash is one of the easiest ways to make the ocean more resilient. From creating less trash to using proper trash disposal, everyone can help keep our ocean clean and free of debris.

As reported by the Guardian President Barack Obama used his presidential powers recently to create the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific, banning fishing and other commercial activities across vast swaths of pristine sea populated by whales, dolphins and sea turtles and dotted with coral atolls.

The September proclamation will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument reserve, created by George Bush, to about six times its current size.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/25/barack-obama-worlds-largest-ocean-reserve-pacific

We truly hope that Prime Minister Abe will re-consider the landfill of the Oura Bay, and congratulate him on last June’s proclamation making the Keramas into a National Marine Park.

On Oct. 11th, a coastal survey and cleanup will take place from Cape Maeda to Malibu Beach to mark 22 years since the establishment of the first Okinawa International Clean Beach Club, and the beginning of the I Love Okinawa Campaign® (World O.C.E.A.N. NGO) contact edo@okinawaocean.org for details.

The Ryukyu Islands Cleanup is managed by NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. in collaboration with World O.C.E.A.N. NGO, Let’s Do it World Cleanup and Clean Up the World.

Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.

Comments welcome to edo@okinawaocean.org