No matter how many litter laws we pass, and no matter how efficient our waste management services become, there will always be a need for good citizens helping to keep our beaches clean.
That’s why the Alabama Coastal Cleanup has been going strong for three decades here on the Gulf Coast. And in a couple weeks, they’ll need all the help they can get to maximize this year’s efforts.
From 8am to 12pm on Saturday, September 21 (rain or shine!), thousands of volunteers will split into teams to clean up Alabama’s coastal waterways and beaches along 30+ different locations. Volunteers are needed by foot and by boat, so whether you come by land or by sea, there’s a cleanup zone nearby that needs your help.
“It is always amazing to me how much litter is recovered from our shorelines and beaches every year during the Coastal Cleanup,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “We appreciate all the volunteers and groups that come out and participate.”
The Alabama Coastal Cleanup is more than just a morning of feel-good community service—it’s a crucial part of maintaining our coastal ecosystems.
Since the origins of the Alabama Coastal Cleanup in 1987, a coordinated effort between Alabama People Against a Littered State (PALS) and the ADCNR to join the International Coastal Cleanup, more than 98,000 volunteers have helped clean the beaches on a sunny day in September. More than 5,000 volunteers have pitched in each of the last few years.
This includes a tremendous recycling effort. Over the past two years, more than 4,000 pounds of recycling have been collected from our waterways and shores. This year, the Alabama Coastal Cleanup is partnering with Coca-Cola, Weeks Bay Foundation, Thompson Engineering, and Osprey Initiative to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles. The goal is to use recycled aluminum in Osprey Initiative’s “Litter Gitters” and use recycled plastic for t-shirt products.
Live on the Alabama Coast? Want to pitch in? We thought you might.
Find a cleanup zone near you, then click on the location to find contact information for the zone captain. Or you can call 251-928-9792 for general information. There’s always room for more volunteers when we’re keeping Alabama beautiful!
And if you can’t make it to this year’s events, don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to get involved and help keep our coast clean.
“Besides making our beaches more pristine, removing litter protects fish, bird, dolphins, sea turtles, and other wildlife,” Blankenship said. “It gives me good feeling every year to see how much trash can be removed when many of us work together.”