US State Department to Clean the Coasts with Foreign Diplomats

Personnel of the US Department of State together with foreign diplomats are going to join the International Coastal Cleanup

September 15th, 2016
Vojtech Jirasek, CD News

Personnel of the US Department of State together with foreign diplomats from China, UK and other countries, are going to join the International Coastal Cleanup as a part of achieving the goals of the “Our Ocean 2016” conference.

The United States Department of State will partner up with foreign missions in the USA to clean the beaches across the country on September 9, 2016. It is a part of International Coastal Cleanup which supports the goals of Our Ocean 2016 conference.

The personnel from the State Department Office of Foreign Missions and Bureau of Diplomatic Security in collaboration with the Ocean Conservancy and its local partners and other foreign consular corps will clean the beaches in Chicago (IL), Galveston (TX), Kahuku (HI), Key Biscayne (FL), New York (NY), Santa Monica (CA) and Seattle (WA). Diplomats from the consulates of China, Thailand, the UK, and Argentina, among others, will participate.

Through this activity the US State Department aims to raise awareness of marine pollution and stem the tide of its adverse impact through the coastal cleanup event. Ocean Conservancy reports that in 2015, nearly 800 000 volunteers participated in such events, collecting over two million cigarette butts, one million plastic beverage bottles, 850 000 plastic bottle caps and 400 000 straws.

International Coastal Cleanup is a project started by Linda Maraniss, Ocean Conservancy staff member, who, upset with litter on Texas beaches, helped to launch the Texas Coastal Cleanup in 1986. By 1989, the cleanup event had spread globally to become the International Coastal Cleanup. According to the American Recycler Newspaper, it is the world’s largest all-volunteer event for the ocean. Events are held around every major body of water in the world including streams, rivers, and lakes. Almost 600,000 volunteers have cleaned 9 million pounds of trash from thousands of miles of coastline and waterways, tallying every item found. This includes the removal of tires from artificial reefs.

“Our Ocean 2016” is an initiative launched by US Secretary of State John Kerry for the first time in 2014 through the conference gathering a community of bold thinkers and actors to find solutions to the threats facing our oceans.  In 2015, Chile hosted the second conference, spurring more action to protect and save this precious resource.  Together, these Our Ocean conferences have produced partnerships and initiatives valued at over $4 billion as well as commitments to protect almost 6 million square kilometers of the ocean – an area almost twice the size of India.  The 2016 Our Ocean conference in Washington DC continues the momentum, celebrating the great progress made on previous commitments and catalyzing even more ambitious actions to protect our ocean. 


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