Clean Up Our Beaches

All One Ocean founder, Hallie Austen Iglehart, with an intro to our Beach Clean Up Stations.

Note from Hallie Iglehart, founder of All One Ocean:

When I first read in 1986 about the millions of sea creatures who die from eating or getting entangled in our trash, I started picking up trash whenever I went to the beach. Looking for a way to make it easy for people to join me, with the encouragement of Shannon Waters of the California Coastal Commission, I founded All One Ocean in 2010 with the goal to establish Beach Clean Up Stations (BCUS) on beaches around the world. With the help of John Dell’Osso, Richard James, and Martin Butt, we launched our first BCUS in 2011 at Limantour Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore. We are expanding BCUS to ocean beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area and then to other coastal and freshwater areas throughout the world. The Stations provide re-purposed collection trash bags for beachgoers, as well as educational materials. My deep gratitude goes to many for their support of All One Ocean. – Hallie Austen Iglehart

We hope you will join us! If you want a BCUS on your favorite beach, contact us and we will help! You may also leave comments at the bottom of this page to inspire dialogue.

BCUS posterAll One Ocean’s Beach Clean Up Stations are permanent, community generated and managed clean up stations. For a long time, non-profits have organized periodic beach clean ups as a way to involve the public in helping the ocean. The Beach Clean Up Station is a practical way to insure that clean up is happening everyday on all our beaches. Like ‘adopt a highway’ campaigns, Beach Clean Up Stations create community around care for and education about these clean up hubs. Eventually, people will come to the beach and automatically think about cleaning up some trash as they enjoy their beach activities. We work to make sure they come to understand that removing ocean trash directly protects them along with the fish, turtles, whales, dolphins and sea birds that are sustained by All One Ocean. By encouraging people to reconsider their consumption of single use plastics, we also address the effects of climate change.  Manufacturing and transporting such products as plastic water bottles, bags and food containers contributes to global warming, which is damaging our coral reefs and our collective Ocean’s entire ecosystem.

Albatross chick, Midway Atoll, photo: Chris Jordan

It is all one Ocean and you can help! Much of our plastic ends up in the Ocean in giant collections of pieces in varying sizes 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. Small is big! The creatures in the sea have existed for millions of years. They have not adapted to our ocean debris. Mistaking the colorful plastic for food, they swallow it and contaminate the natural food chain – dying and adding toxicity to our own systems when we eat them. Every tiny piece of human trash picked up is one less toxin in someone’s stomach.

The dolphins, whales, seals, turtles, fish and seabirds thank you!

Learn how to set up a beach clean up station

One thought on “Clean Up Our Beaches”

  1. I am someone who has known about the terrible problem of plastic in the oceans and I am very committed to caring for the earth…. but somehow I was not taking this simple action of picking up plastic on the many walks I take. Maybe I thought “what is the point, when no one else is bothering to do it”… not sure exactly, but I want you to know how motivating that little box was/is for me, knowing that other people would be picking up stuff and also the idea of extending this awareness to other lovers of the beach. Also, it made a difference that the box was beautiful wood and had a “personal” feel to it…. not an anonymous sort of message. Good luck with the project and thank you.

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