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Car Parts to Fishing Line, International Coastal Clean-up Bags It All

WASHINGTON, DC, September 14, 2007 (ENS) - Some 450,000 trash bags have been distributed free of cost around the United States, and when Saturday evening rolls around, the Ocean Conservancy hopes they will all be full of trash.

Ocean Conservancy's International Coast Cleanup is the world's largest single-day volunteer effort to improve the health of the ocean and its wildlife. On Saturday, the organization will hold its 22nd annual cleanup, which now has become worldwide event.

This year the Ocean Conservancy anticipates that 500,000 volunteers will turn out to collect debris and document what they find along shorelines and underwater in 100 countries.

The volunteers spend a few hours removing trash and debris from beaches, lakes, rivers and other waterways and record what they find. The data they collect is analyzed by Ocean Conservancy staff and used to help find solutions for reducing marine debris.

Sonya Besteiro, manager of volunteer programs at Ocean Conservancy, says that in 2006, more than 350,000 International Coastal Cleanup volunteers from 68 countries worldwide removed more than seven million pounds of trash.

This makes the International Coastal Cleanup the largest single-day volunteer effort focused on cleaning up and conserving the marine environment.

The Dow Chemical Company and the Glad Products Company donated the trash bags and free shipping across the United States to ICC coordinators for distribution to thousands of volunteers who will collect trash from lakes, streams, rivers and beaches, above and below the water in their communities.

"For 21 years now, Dow has worked with the International Coastal Cleanup to help make it a success by supplying and distributing trash bags, as well as volunteering for the Cleanup across the United States," said a Dow Vice President Howard Ungerleider. "Thousands of communities are coming together on one day for this enormous Cleanup, and we are proud to join our customer, The Glad Products Company, to help these communities make a difference."

"We are proud that our trash bags are contributing to the International Coastal Clean-up," said David Kellis, PR manager for Glad. "We are delighted to be a part of this important cause."

"We truly appreciate the contributions that our corporate sponsors provide to the International Coastal Cleanup. The generosity of Dow and Glad help our Cleanup volunteers to be successful, which results in a successful Cleanup."

The Coca-Cola Company is lead sponsor of the one-day event. "This is a major commitment by The Coca-Cola Company, and it will help us achieve our goals of cleaner beaches and shorelines and a healthy marine environment," said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Ocean Conservancy.

In addition to providing supplies at local Cleanup sites and helping to train coordinators in various locations who manage cleanup efforts, The Coca-Cola Company is helping raise public awareness of the debris problem facing the world's waterways. Behavior change has long been the goal of the ICC, because prevention of marine debris is the best solution.

Over the past 21 years, a total of 6,600,000 million volunteers have picked up almost 116,000,000 pounds of debris across 211,460 miles of coastline.

Anyone interested in getting involved in this weekend's International Coastal Cleanup can visit www.oceanconservancy.org/icc to register and to find coordinator contact information for your area.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.

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