The Issue: Litter in the World’s Oceans
The United Nations estimates that approximately 6.4 million tons of litter are deposited into the oceans every year, and more than 13,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square kilometer of ocean. Most marine litter originates on beaches and streets, washing into the water when it rains. This trash kills wildlife, transports invasive species between seas, and negatively impacts the economies of coastal communities.
The Campaign: Removing Trash from Local Beaches
If 160 people donate $10, $25, or $50 to this Grassroots campaign, then Surfrider Foundation can sponsor 160 beach cleanups––two for each of its 80 chapters that span the US coasts. $10 donations fund reusable bags and gloves to remove 200 pounds of trash from a beach, $25 donations enable the removal of 500 pounds, and $50 donations enable the removal of 1,000 pounds. Each additional $10, $25, or $50 raised will sponsor another beach cleanup. The first 100 people to donate $50 and register will also receive a pair of Surfrider sunglasses.
During cleanups, groups patrol the beach, parking lots, and walking paths in search of trash items that are safe to handle. The volunteers tally how many plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and food containers they pick up, and haul their trash to a tent where a team weighs it and sorts out the recyclable items. Average cleanups remove roughly 200 pounds of trash from a local beach. The goal of 160 cleanups will remove more than 32,000 pounds of trash from the coastline.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
The Surfrider Foundation was born when personal passion overlapped a glaring need. In 1984, three surfers faced the prospect of losing their favorite wave to coastal development and the subsequent environmental impact. Instead of lying down in the sand, they stood up and fought to keep this California beach intact. Today, that impassioned spirit pervades the entire Surfrider organization, which has since grown to include 90 chapters, 28 labs, and a network of more than 250,000 activists in 18 countries around the world. At each outpost, volunteers work with local environmental policy makers and community leaders to protect their beaches and waves from pollution. Their programs range from water testing, to protecting beach access, to eliminating plastics from the marine environment, to advocating for national laws such as the Beach Act of 2000—all to preserve the oceans and beaches for future generations.
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