Oceanic Big Five Cleanup Guide - Giving Back

Oceanic Big Five Cleanup Guide – Giving Back

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Are you part of the Oceanic Big Five? That is, are you someone who spends a lot of time in, on or under the water: a swimmer, a surfer, a diver, a paddler, or a sailor?

You can participate in World Oceans Day this year by planning a cleanup with your team, club or friends while doing your sport at the same time. This is not a normal beach cleanup, but a way to reach your secret spot using your own mode of oceanic activity to get there or celebrate there, with a cleanup.

This event was started by Ocean Recovery Alliance. The Ocean Project has the following recommendations on how to get started:

1. Have one dedicated Cleanup Coordinator.
2. Select a site – a stream, a lake, a coastal wetland, the ocean, or any other body of water, particularly where litter has accumulated.

3. Set a date. Also, decide if you would benefit from setting a rain date.
4. Scout your site.
5. Walk your selected site to gain a better idea of the amount and type of litter there. If coastal, check the tide charts.
6. Decide where volunteers will meet the day of the project. This central location will not only serve as the initial meeting place, but also as the location where trash bags are brought for transfer to dump or trash trucks.
7. Consider providing your team with large trash bags and boxes for recyclables, “sharps” containers in case needles are located, work gloves and/or disposable plastic gloves, rakes, shovels, and/or litter poles, data sheets if you’d like to record all litter and debris found by type and number, maps if needed, water and snacks, sun screen, and first aid kits.
8. Register your cleanup event at WorldOceansDay.org/submit and share your contribution with the world, and grab World Oceans Day gear.

If you can, and want a list of those who helped you for the future, a sign-in sheet should be provided. Once most people have arrived, brief the volunteers on how to separate recyclable litter from non-recyclable litter, assign cleanup sections with starting points to deposit trash for pick up, tell volunteers who to contact in case of emergency, and mention any particular hazards. All volunteers should wear disposable plastic gloves at all times.

If funds are available, it’s always nice to give people a memento of their time whether that is an inexpensive button, a photo, or a t-shirt.

You can even do an underwater clean-up if you are adventurous and creative.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones