PA Ranks 6th In U.S. For International Coastal Cleanup Volunteers

Pennsylvania ranked 6th in the nation for the number of volunteers participating in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup - 9,745 volunteers from 35 counties across Pennsylvania canvassed their communities to remove 459,076 pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 28th annual International Coastal Cleanup event.

The International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort aimed at improving the health of the ocean, bringing out hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world to remove millions of pounds of plastics and debris from beaches, lakes and waterways.

From September through October, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful worked with local groups and organizations to coordinate 385 events throughout the state.

Volunteers in Pennsylvania documented the trash that was picked up and the “top five” types of trash found during the 2013 cleanup included: 17,344 Cigarette Butts; 4,062 Food Wrappers; 3,259 Beverage Bottles (plastic); 3,011 Plastic Pieces; 2,018 Bottle Caps (Plastic);

Significant County accomplishments include:

— Allegheny County/Allegheny CleanWays, Pittsburgh City, and University of Pittsburgh:   Most volunteers – 4,011;

— Erie County/Department of Environmental Protection:   Most cigarette butts collected – 16,276;

— Allegheny County/ Allegheny CleanWays, Pittsburgh City, and University of Pittsburgh: Most pounds of trash removed – 206,500 pounds;

— Clinton County/Clinton County CleanScapes:  Most tires collected - 399; and

— Erie County/Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection:  Most plastic wrappers and most plastic bottles collected – 3,161 and 1,574 

“Ocean trash truly is a global problem that affects human health and safety, endangers marine wildlife, and costs states and nations countless millions in wasted resources and lost revenue,” said Andreas Merkl, Ocean Conservancy’s president and CEO. “At its core, however, ocean trash is not an ocean problem; it is a people problem – perpetuated by the often unwitting practices that industry and people have adopted over time. But I am convinced we can solve it if we have the audacity to confront the problem head-on.”

To Coordinate an ICC Event

Planning has begun for the 2014 International Coastal Cleanup. International Coastal Cleanup Day will be held on September 20, however, ICC events can be held from September through October. 

Funding for the International Coastal Cleanup coordination in Pennsylvania is provided by the Department of Environmental Protection.

If you are interested in coordinating an ICC cleanup, please contact Michelle Dunn at 1-877-772-3673 Ext. 113 or send email to:  For more information on ICC, go to the Ocean Conservancy website.  Any cleanup site is eligible since we all live in a watershed and all waterways flow into our coastal waters.


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