ConservationInternational Coastal Cleanup Day

September 12, 2017

Litter isn’t just a big deal in Hampton Roads, but across the world. Plastics and other trash aren’t easily decomposable, and end up in storm drains, parks, water sources and can ultimately end up in the stomachs of the world’s most beautiful creatures.

Every year in September, organizations across the globe unite to host events where volunteers help clean up our coastal waterways. Known as the International Coastal Cleanup Day, this year’s event is on Saturday, September 16. However, in Hampton Roads, cleaning the coasts isn’t restricted to just one day. There are several events spanning several cities that you can volunteer for all the way through November.

This event is definitely a dirty job, but can be rewarding in the end knowing you helped to make a difference. By volunteering, you’ll be picking up all kinds of trash from cigarettes to plastic bags to glass bottles and more. Volunteers are also encouraged to download the Clean Swell™ app to help the Ocean Conservancy track how much of each type of trash is picked up at each location – information that will then be used to combat litter and trash pollution in waterways.

Be a part of the already 12 million people who have volunteered to help fight ocean trash and sign up for one of these upcoming events today.

International Coastal Cleanup Day Events in Hampton Roads

Owls Creek / Rudee’s Inlet, Virginia Beach

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Time: 9AM –12PM

Contact: Mark Swingle – (757) 385-0274 or aquavols@virginiaaquarium.com

Cleanup will take place around the Owls Creek and Rudee Inlet watershed in Virginia Beach. Volunteers will meet at the north end of the Virginia Aquarium’s parking lot near the Owl Creek Boat Ramp. The cleanup area can be muddy and wooded areas may have poison ivy. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing and bring your own gloves.

For more information, please visit: https://www.virginiaaquarium.com/

Beach at False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Time: 9AM –1PM

Contact: Alexa Taylor – (757) 426-7128 or falsecape@dcr.virginia.gov

Meet at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge for transport into False Cape. Join False Cape’s Friends Group, staff and volunteers in helping keep our beaches pristine by picking up shoreline debris. For more information and to make a reservation please contact the park office. Trash bags, gloves and water provided. Dress accordingly based on the weather, bring a lunch and support False Cape’s attempt in making this natural resource a better place. Reservations are required. No charge.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/falscape.htm

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Beach

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2017

Time: 9AM –12PM

Contact: Erica Ryder – (757) 301-7329 ext. 3106 or Erica_Ryder@fws.gov

Join us for the International Coastal Cleanup at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge! We will meet at the refuge Visitor Center, located at 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. The cleanup will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, September 23, 2017. We will not only clean the beach but we will also document the trash we find to add to the Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Trash Index. Call to sign up!

For more information, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Back_Bay/

Barraud Park, Norfolk

Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

Time: 9AM –12PM

Whos trash is it anyway? The International Coastal Cleanup in Norfolk will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 9 am – 12 pm. The cleanup and beautification event is fueled by volunteer organizations and individuals as a means to change behavior toward cleaner, healthier waterways. Keep Norfolk Beautiful will be by hosting an event at Barraud Park. We will be cleaning along the waterways and painting trash barrels.

First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach

Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

Time: 9AM –12PM

Contact: Erin McManama – (757) 412-2300 or Erin.McManama@dcr.virginia.gov

First Landing is participating in the International Coastal Clean Up with beach clean-up. Join the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. What better way to serve your community than by keeping the waterways free of trash? Nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year. If you would like to participate in this event you must pre-register by emailing your name and the number of participants you are planning to bring to Erin.McManama@dcr.virginia.gov. There is no admission for this event; free parking and children are welcome.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/first-landing#general_information

Nansemond River – Constants Wharf, Suffolk

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time: 9AM –12PM

Contact: Wayne Jones – (757) 514-7604 or littercontrol@suffolkva.us

For more information, please visit: http://www.suffolkva.us/

Paradise Creek Nature Park, Chesapeake

Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017

Time: 9AM –11AM

Contact: Sarah Sumoski – (757) 399-7487 or ssumoski@elizabethriver.org

Become a River Hero! Help us clean up the park and improve the wetlands of Paradise Creek Nature Park and Paradise Creek, a tributary to the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay. All ages welcome with adult supervision for those under 18. Groups welcome, but please contact us to ensure space. Please call 757-399-7487 or e-mail ssumoski@elizabethriver.org to register.

For more information, please visit: http://www.elizabethriver.org/

Other Events

Check the Ocean Conservancy website for details on other Coastal Cleanup Day events planned in your area.