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Volunteers gathering for International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:06 AM EDT
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A global effort to protect paradise is happening this weekend. Saturday is International Coastal Cleanup Day.

It's the world's largest, volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment that has been going for the past 37 years.

For the past 37 years, volunteers from more than 100 countries have descended on their local beaches, rivers, and canals to show their commitment to cleaner waterways.

But the cleanup is much more than removing trash, by providing detailed data on what and how much is cleaned up The Ocean Conservancy has a powerful tool for educating the public and effecting positive change.

"So, the banning of the use of plastic grocery bags for although it hasn't happened locally has happened in other places simply because of the data that's collected in events like this one," Lourdes Ferris said, Executive Director of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful.

According to Ocean Conservancy, each year 11 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the ocean threatening our wildlife and even our food chain. At this rate, scientists even estimate by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Which is why Ferris stressed the importance of getting involved with this event that raises awareness and helps protect our marine environment.

In Palm Beach County there's about 20 different sites where volunteers will be picking up trash. For a complete list and to register, click here.

Clean-ups are happening along the Treasure Coast as well. Volunteers are welcome to join the cleanup at Sandsprit Park on Saturday. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and volunteers are encouraged to join whenever they can.

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