On September 20, NYC Audubon took to the shores of New York City for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day. The annual event is a global volunteer effort uniting hundreds of thousands of volunteers from across the globe to help clean up our shorelines and oceans. For this year’s Cleanup Day, we organized not one but two different cleanups of City beaches that are vital for migrating and nesting shorebirds: Jamaica Bay’s North Channel Bridge Beach (with American Littoral Society and National Park Service) and Pelham Bay Park’s Orchard Beach (with New York City Parks and Recreation).
Volunteers came out in record numbers for this year’s New York City cleanups: 111 volunteers worked long hours diligently picking up trash from the beaches. The Boy Scouts of America, Girls Scouts Troop 4623-4587, Hunter High School Environmental Club, the Mitsubishi Corporation, and Volunteer for Wildlife were among the groups lending a hand at Jamaica Bay, while CubScout Pack 304 based in PS304 Bronx was instrumental in our cleanup of Orchard Beach.
Between the two cleanups, this year we were able to remove 1,726 pounds of trash. That’s almost a ton! At our North Channel cleanup alone, we picked up 321 plastic grocery bags, 454 plastic and glass bottles, 730 cigarette butts, 2,302 glass pieces…and one teddy bear!
Thanks again to everyone who made this year’s International Coast Cleanup Day our most successful ever. New York City shorelines provide valuable habitat to wildlife, including migratory and beach nesting birds. The dedication and hard work of all those who volunteered this year will improve City shorelines for birds, and people too.
Finally, these cleanups could not have happened without the hard work of Adriana Palmer and Terra Weiland, our beach captains for the North Channel and Orchard Beach cleanups, respectively. Thanks to both of them for organizing these two very successful events.