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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Volunteer to clean up after summer visitors

By News staff
In September, the beach crowds will begin to thin as the temperatures drops and school begins. But soon, another crowd will return — thousands of individuals, groups and families coming with work gloves and trash bags to participate in one of the largest global volunteer events: the International Coastal Cleanup.
This year’s international is being held Sept. 15, and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island is looking for volunteers.

Organized internationally by the Ocean Conservancy and locally by the Audubon Society, volunteers not only clean up the trash that litters our shores, but also document what they find, tallying each piece of trash picked up. This data is published in an annual report that draws attention to marine debris and provides background for policy decisions that address the problem at its source.
“Trash is one of the most widespread pollution problems threatening our ocean and waterways — yet it’s entirely preventable,” said Lawrence Taft, Audubon’s executive director. “The International Coastal Cleanup provides a chance to do something about it. Volunteers not only clean the beaches, they raise awareness of the issue and inspire others to take care of the ocean.”
The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest volunteer effort to help protect our ocean, lakes and rivers. Ocean Conservancy uses the data collected during the cleanup to produce an annual country-by-country, state-by-state index of the problem of marine debris. Audubon Society of Rhode Island has led the International Coastal Cleanup for the Ocean State since 1985.
The amount of trash picked up by volunteers worldwide is hard to fathom Here are some statistics from the 2011 worldwide cleanup to help put this problem in perspective:
• Volunteers found enough light bulbs (24,384) to replace every light on the Eiffel Tower.
• Volunteers found 940,227 items of food packaging — enough to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years.
• In Rhode Island, there were 5,409 glass bottles collected —enough to provide a drink for every resident of Jamestown.
In the nearly three decade history of the International Coastal Cleanup, more than 9 million people have collected 144 million pounds of trash in 152 countries.
“Every volunteer makes a difference, so we encourage people to sign up for one of our public cleanups,” adds July Lewis, Audubon’s volunteer coordinator. “We also have a few sites that still need a leader. Please contact us if you or your group would like to organize a cleanup of your own.
For more information, contact July Lewis at 401-949-5454, ext. 3044, via e-mail
If you would like to volunteer, contact one of the local cleanup leaders listed below. This is a rain or shine event, but may be postponed in the event of a severe storm. All cleanups are from 9 a.m.-noon, unless otherwise noted.
• Barrington Beach, 1-4 p.m.: Bill and Deb Dwyer, call 401-245-2684 or e-mail
• Town Beach: Kim Gaffett, call 401-466-2224 or e-mail
• Colt State Park: Sign up with REI here.
• Wayposset at the Narrows: Steve and Philip Johnson, call 401-254-1963 or e-mail
• Charlestown Breachway: Wayne Huot, call 401-788-0361 or e-mail
• Charlestown Town Beach: James McMonigle, call 401-782-0312 or e-mail
• Fort Wetherill: Debra Greenhalgh, call 401-560-0280 or e-mail
• Town Shoreline (various locations): Sandra Farr, call 401-635-8640 or e-mail 
• Second Beach: Gary Paquette, e-mail Meet in the parking lot in front of the concession stand just as you enter the main entrance.
• Third Beach: Kim Botelho at The Norman Bird Sanctuary, call 401-846-2577 or e-mail Time and date TBA; contact Kim for updates. 
• Aunt Carrie’s Beach: Heather Biben, e-mail
• Camp Cronin/Point Judith, noon-2 p.m.: Stephany Hessler, call 401-272-3540, ext. 130, or e-mail
• Narragansett Town Beach: Dawn Tortorelli, call 401-294-9390.
• South Ferry Road, URI Narragansett Bay, 10 a.m.-noon: Pam Rubinoff, call 401-480-8004 or e-mail
• First Beach (Easton’s Beach), 10 a.m.-noon: Dave McLaughlin, call 401-465-0628 or e-mail Park in the west lot.
• Fort Adams, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Red Godin, call 401-732-8808 or e-mail Meet behind the Eisenhower House at 1 Lincoln Drive.
• King Beach: Tom Freeman, call 401-338-2250 or e-mail
• Compass Rose & Quonset Point Beaches: Mike Morin, e-mail
• Wickford Harbor: Tom Sgouros, call 401-295-2095 or e-mail
• Common Fence Point: Mil Kinsella, call 401-633-2606 or e-mail
• McCorrie Point: Dan Reilly, call 401-643-1770 or e-mail
• Pheasant Hill Beach, 2-4 p.m.: Bob Gessler, call 401-683-3860 or e-mail Meet at the right-of-way off Pheasant Drive.
• Catherine Fillo, call 719-310-2795 or e-mail This cleanup will be held from 8 a.m.-noon. Volunteers coming from the mainland can take the 8 a.m. ferry and meet organizers at the ferry dock at 8:30 a.m. Catch a return ferry at 10:30 a.m. or 4 p.m.
• Fields Point, Save The Bay headquarters, noon-2 p.m.: Stephany Hessler, call 401-272-3540, ext. 130, or e-mail
• Oxford at Allens Avenue, Sept. 22, 8-10 a.m.: Meredyth Waterman, call 401-451-2322 or e-mail
• Moonstone Beach: Tina Marasco at
• Grinnell’s Beach/Fogland Point: Alita Marks, call 401-624-6031 or e-mail 
• Apponaug Cove, 4-5:30 p.m.: Jen Pelopida, call 401-527-4649 or e-mail
• Conimicut Point: Marcia Pena, call 401-921-3267 or e-mail
• Goddard Park: Ellen Forman, call 401-334-2568 or e-mail
• Oakland Beach: Sandra Davidson, call 401-965-8752 or e-mail
• Warwick City Park: William Quirk, call 401-952-8967 or e-mail
• Watch Hill to Misquamicut; Weekapaug to Quonochontaug Breachway, plus sites in Charlestown: Steve Cersosimo, e-mail