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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup

Ocean Conservancy's 24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup to be Held Saturday, September 19th: Online Registration Opens with 2,500 Cleanup Sites Around the World, Thousands More to be Added Soon
Sign up to Clean up! Locate a Cleanup site near you and join the hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world Start a Sea Change this September

Media Contact: Tom McCann

August 4, 2009

(Washington DC) — Today, Ocean Conservancy announces a new searchable online registration system for the International Coastal Cleanup helping volunteers find a Cleanup site in their hometown. The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer effort to help protect the ocean. Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers hit their local beaches, lakes, and rivers with a common mission of improving the health of the ocean and waterways. On one day, they removed and tallied 6.8 million pounds of debris, from 6,485 sites in 100 countries and 42 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. To find a 2009 Cleanup site near you visit: www.oceanconservancy.org and search on a world map or by town or zip code.

"The ocean is our life support system yet marine debris continues to threaten its health. We know that trash travels. Wherever we live, each of us has a responsibility to prevent litter from trashing our beaches and hurting coastal economies, injuring and killing marine wildlife, and choking an already threatened ocean ecosystem," said Vikki Spruill President and CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "Trash in the ocean is one of the most widespread pollution problems threatening our ocean and waterways and it's entirely preventable."

Each year, volunteers from around the world spend a few hours removing trash and debris from beaches, lakes, rivers and other waterways keeping track of every piece of trash they find. Ocean Conservancy uses that information to produce the world’s only annual country-by-country, state-by-state index of the problem of marine debris. The report is shared with the public, industry, and government officials as we work together to end to problem of marine debris.

“The Cleanup gives everyone a chance to be a part of an important global movement to end the tide of ocean trash,” says Dianne Sherman, Director of the International Coastal Cleanup. “This new automated registration system will help volunteers from Boston to Bangladesh find a site near them and join in the effort to start a sea change."

Coca-Cola has been supporting the International Coastal Cleanup since 1995 and has been the lead sponsor since 2005 raising awareness of the issue of marine debris and the personal responsibility we all share in solving the problem. In 2008, Coca-Cola activated a network of over 50,000 employees and associates in 35 countries to help clear beaches and waterways of debris. As part of its $20 billion, 10-year initiative to address climate change, Bank of America has supported the International Coastal Cleanup for the past several years, with thousands of associates participating in Cleanup events across the United States and around the world. Other national sponsors include Booz Allen Hamilton; The Dow Chemical Company; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Philip Morris USA, an Altria Company; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For additional information about the International Coastal Cleanup, and to sign up to be a part of the next wave of volunteers visit: www.oceanconservancy.org/cleanup