Green Divas Heart Wildlife: Beach Clean Up Stations
Hallie Austen-Iglehart, founder of All One Ocean shares her brilliant and educational beach cleanup stations for any beach to help reduce the garbage flowing into our oceans and water ways from beaches.
Many of us love the ocean, the smell of it, the sound, how we feel when we are on the shore or out at sea. Yet many of us are unaware of our impact on this source of life. Did you know that about a million seabirds, turtles, whales and dolphins die each year from eating ocean plastic? It’s a big problem and you can be part of the solution! All One Ocean creates permanent, community generated Beach Clean Up Stations (BCUS). These Stations provide a simple way for you and any beachgoer to help collect trash while enjoying the beach. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, many people think that the biggest source of pollution in the ocean is oil spilled from ships–but most marine pollution is litter that starts out on land.The most dangerous litter is our throw-away plastic because of its longevity and capacity to increase in toxicity, eventually returning to the human food chain in a more lethal form.
- Much of our plastic ends up in the ocean in giant collections of trash called gyres, created by circular ocean currents. They trap debris for decades where it continues to break into ever smaller, more toxic pieces, never fully biodegrading.
- Too much of it winds up in the bellies of marine life. Like seabirds whose primary diet can be pieces of plastic and styrofoam.
- Creatures in the sea have existed for millions of years. They have not adapted to our ocean debris. When swallowed it contaminates the natural food chain – adding toxicity to our own systems when we eat ocean life.
- Beach Clean Up Stations provide a simple, doable way for people to have fun cleaning up trash as they enjoy their beach activities.
- As with our pilot project on Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, communities organize and maintain these permanent, do-it-yourself Stations.
- By removing beach trash we protect ourselves as well as the fish, turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds that are sustained by our collective Ocean.
- Studies have shown that people who do volunteer work live happier, healthier and longer lives. In the words of Kenny Ausubel, “Hope is a bird with its sleeves rolled up.”
Every tiny piece of human trash picked up is one less toxin in someone’s stomach.