International Coastal Cleanup Block Island Style

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 2:00pm

Many thanks to the Block Island volunteers who participated in the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on Sept. 21. Thanks especially go to Block Island Recycling Management and the Town of New Shoreham for sharing the cost of the transfer station fees to dispose of the debris collected by 30-plus volunteers. Thanks also to the Island organizations that sponsored and promoted the event, including the: Block Island Conservancy, Block Island Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Committee for the Great Salt Pond, Block Island Maritime Institute. In addition appreciation goes to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, which has done yeoman’s work in organizing the ICC efforts in R.I., and to the Ocean View Foundation and the Washington Trust Co. for coordinating the beach clean up.

The ICC is an international event that takes place annually in September to clean coastal shorelines, while also collecting information about the type and sources of debris that litter the world’s oceans and threaten marine animals and ecosystems. The data collected is used to inform policies and regulations governing the world’s oceans.

Block Island’s volunteers not only cleaned the island’s beaches of all types of trash, they also recorded the quantity of selected types of typical sea debris (see below for Block Island statistics). These predetermined categories are used to tabulate the types of pollutants encountered in every ICC event. In addition to items listed on the forms, participants were asked to identify: debris of special concern, any entangled animals, and the most peculiar item found. During Block Island’s ICC effort, large amounts of fireworks debris on Crescent Beach, cigarette butts, and plastic bags were identified as items of concern. In addition to several dead birds a dead sea turtle was observed. The most peculiar item “rescued” was a deflated man-overboard dummy – this treasure is being saved to reappear next year as a scarecrow in the Ocean View Foundation’s gardens.

For more information about the ICC go to, or

Here’s what was picked up:

Cigarette butts: 1,251

Food wrappers: 154

Take out containers (plastic): 5

Take out containers (foam): 8

Bottle caps (plastic): 161

Bottle caps (metal): 24

Lids (plastic): 19

Straws/stirrers: 106

Beverage bottles (plastic): 90

Beverage bottles (glass): 31

Beverage cans: 105

Grocery bags (plastic): 26

Other plastic bags: 29

Paper bags: 2

Cups & plates (paper): 6

Cups & plates (plastic): 62

Cups & plates (foam): 31

Balloons & ribbon: 39

Fireworks: 44

Fishing line (1 yard = 1 piece): 47

2013 ICC beach volunteers on Block Island: Andre Miller, John Jacobsen, Anthony — beach at Mary D. Park, Old Harbor; Sue and Ray Torrey, and Willie Feuer — Dorie’s Cove; Susanna Jones and Rob Beguein — Andy’s Way; Ken Moss and Anita and Tony Miller – Fred Benson Beach to Scotch Beach; Judy Tierney –— Scotch Beach area; Dave Roosa — Mansion Beach and Narragansett Inn Beach; Sarah Nahabidian and Joan & Steve — Fred Benson beach south; Cathy Joyce and Nigel Grindley — Cooneymus Beach; Nancy Greenaway, Josie Merck, Jim Stevenson and Isabelle duPont —Ballards Beach and south; Bryan and Zeke Wilson — “the end of the lane” a.k.a. Mosquito Beach; Pat and Rick Saylor — Mohegan Bluff Beach at the stairs; Melanie & Burt King — Settlers Rock towards North Light; and Barbara MacMullan and Kim Gaffett coordinators.