Ocean Conservancy Hosts International Conference Focusing on Global Impact of Marine Debris on Our Ocean and Wildlife

May 30, 2007

Media Contact: Tom McCann

Portland, ME — Today, Ocean Conservancy opens its annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Conference in Portland, Maine. The annual Conference, which lasts through June 3rd, brings together various government agencies, corporations, volunteers and advocacy organizations to focus on reducing the threat of marine debris to our ocean and marine wildlife. The Conference provides a venue to highlight the successes of global beach cleanups in 100 countries. It also provides a forum where marine debris issues are addressed and preparations are made for this year’s ICC. The theme of the ICC Conference this year is “Community Empowerment, Global Impact the ICC.

“We are thrilled to have global representation at our ICC Conference to discuss the important issue of marine debris, and to prepare for our next event,” said Sonya Besteiro, Manager of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. “The International Coastal Cleanup simply could not happen without the dedication and energy that these volunteers bring to the program every year we are looking forward to another successful Cleanup on September 15th.”

Volunteers in Maine were active in the 2006 ICC. During last year’s Cleanup, 1,882 volunteers picked up 9,866 pounds of trash from 89 miles of coastline in Maine. To volunteer in Maine during this year’s International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, September 15th, or to find additional Cleanup sites visit www.oceanconservancy.org/icc to find your local volunteer coordinator.

Ocean Conservancy’s ICC is a worldwide movement for cleaner beaches and waterways, and provides an opportunity for people around the world to get involved with ocean conservation. The ICC began 22 years ago on beaches in Texas and Oregon. It now involves volunteers across the United States and in nearly 100 countries. It is the largest volunteer event for the marine environment. ICC volunteers record the collected trash items and they return the results to the Ocean Conservancy. Ocean Conservancy compiles the information and uses it to educate, inform and inspire people to join the worldwide effort to improve the health of our ocean through conservation.

“Keeping our ocean and waterways free of trash goes beyond a one-day activity. Everyday, all year long, the choices we make on how to dispose of trash, affects the ocean,” Besteiro continued. “It is our shared responsibility to make choices that keep trash out of our ocean, and it starts with each one of us individually.”

For more information on Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, visit the online press kit at www.oceanconservancy.org/iccmedia. The annual ICC report including world-wide data will be released on June 7th, the day before World Ocean Day.

ICC 2007 Conference Attendees

June 3, 2007: Coordinators, staff members, and sponsors at the 2007 International Coastal Cleanup Conference.

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