Coca-Cola Foundation Pledges $1 M to Clean up Ocean Litter
The Coca-Cola Foundation has launched a multi-year partnership with Ocean Conservancy through a $1 million pledge to support the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the world's largest volunteer event to eradicate litter from the world's waterways.
Since 1986, the International Coastal Cleanup has gathered six million volunteers to remove more than 100 million pounds of marine litter from 170,000 miles of beaches and inland waterways. This year, the ICC takes place Sept. 20.
"We are excited about our continued support to the Ocean Conservancy and for our associates to participate as volunteers in the world's largest waterway cleanup," said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation.
"This gigantic wave of support from Coca-Cola provides us a greater opportunity to educate and engage more people around the world in our work on behalf of the ocean," said Vikki Spruill, president/chief executive officer, Ocean Conservancy. "The ocean is sick, and we have a personal responsibility to help sustain the life support system that sustains us. There are things we can do every day to fight for healthy, thriving waters. The International Coastal Cleanup is more than a one-day event, it's a year-round movement and now, thanks to Coca-Cola, we can grow that movement into a sea of change for the health of the ocean."
In 2007, 378,000 volunteers in 76 countries removed six million pounds of marine debris. Trash in the ocean continues to threaten millions of seabirds, fish, and wildlife every year. Last year, volunteers found 81 birds, 63 fish, 49 crabs and lobsters, 30 mammals, 11 reptiles, and one amphibian entangled in debris that included discarded fishing line, fishing net, rope, and plastic bags.
Volunteers gather data on the types of debris collected. Ocean Conservancy produces the results in an annual report, which is the most comprehensive collection of volunteer marine debris data in the world. The report helps the public, industry, and government officials understand the issue and helps spread the message about how to best address litter issues at the source.
To participate in this year's cleanup, register by visiting www.oceanconservancy.org/cleanup.