While many South Floridians hit the beach this past weekend to relax, more than 50 Barry University students, faculty, and staff spent their Saturday morning on the sand as part of a multi-national program to clean up the world’s beaches. On September 21, the Barry Community, mostly students, took part in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD).
ICCD has become the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. On one day in September, volunteers spend their mornings collecting millions of pounds of litter and debris from the world’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Since the cleanup day began 26 years ago, nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash.
Working shoulder-to-shoulder, Barry’s volunteers cleaned the shorelines in the North Beach area adjacent to Collins Avenue between 79th Street and 87th Street.
In addition to just cleaning up garbage along the coastline, volunteers kept a detailed log of all trash gathered using standardized data collection cards. The garbage collected will be examined to give a concise picture of the manufactured items that impact humans, wildlife, and the South Florida ecological system.
After analyzing the data each year, Ocean Conservancy publishes the world’s only item-by-item, location-by-location snapshot of marine debris in an annual report. Data, gathered over the last 26 years has helped inspire worldwide action to rid the ocean of harmful trash.
This is the second year members of the Barry community have taken part in ICCD. Last year, Barry volunteers cleared more than 1200 pounds of debris and trash from the beaches. The activity is a part of the university’s month-long initiative known as Peace Month. Meant to inspire positive change in the local community and the world, Barry’s Peace Month draws from the university’s mission, Learn, Reflect, Serve, to help foster peace and non-violence.