Published May 21. 2014 2:44PM Updated May 21. 2014 2:48PM
Save the Sound released its 2013 coastal cleanup data on Wednesday, in conjunction with Ocean Conservancy’s release of worldwide data from the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup last fall.
In 2013, 1,554 citizens participated in cleanups at 44 Connecticut beaches, Save the Sound said in a news release. The 2013 cleanup was the 12th one it organized.
Volunteers filled 453 bags with 8,756 pounds of trash, covering 68.95 miles of the state’s shores. Cleanups spanned the Connecticut coastline from Greenwich to Mystic, with groups including friends of state parks, schools and religious organizations, rotary clubs, environmental and civic groups, scout troops and others.
“Each year, we’re inspired by the dedication of our volunteers who take to the beaches, alongside thousands upon thousands of others across the globe, to ensure beaches and marshes everywhere are healthy for people and wildlife alike,” said Leah Lopez Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs at Save the Sound.
Around the world, the 2013 cleanup picked up over 12 million pounds of trash, with nearly 650,000 volunteers in 92 countries walking over 12,000 miles of shoreline. ICC data provide the only global picture of plastics and other marine debris polluting the oceans. The result helps the public, researchers, and government officials tackle ocean pollution at the source. Top offenders include items like straws, cigarette butts, plastic bags, bottle caps, and beverage containers.
Ocean trash threatens our economy, environment, and health, the organization said. Connecticut municipalities have to spend money every year on daily beach cleanups, and marine debris endangers and damages commercial and recreational boats—it can entangle and kill ocean wildlife, and can expose them to dangerous levels of toxins if they consume it. The toxic chemicals can then be transferred up the food chain to humans.
For information about ocean trash data, visit, <a href="http://www.oceanconservancy.org">www.oceanconservancy.org</a>.