Organizing a beach clean up is a great way to do your part in preserving our marine life. It’s important to remember that every piece of plastic that finds its way into the ocean can harm marine life. Even if you can’t remove it, you can help by spreading the word. If you are interested in organizing a beach cleanup, here are some tips to get you started.
Preparing for the Cleanup
Before you organize a beach cleanup, you should ask for permission from local officials. This includes getting authorization to clean up a public beach. However, if you don’t have access to a public beach, you can plan an event in a more secluded area. You may also want to contact a governing body such as the state or local health department for guidance on hazardous materials.
When you are planning your beach cleanup, make sure that you have all of the equipment necessary to carry out your cleanup. Ideally, you will have trash bags for each participant, gloves, and other safety gear. The type of supplies you need will depend on the size of your group. A large cleanup can be quite challenging, but you should have the tools to ensure a successful, safe cleanup.
Another important item to have on hand is a water filling station. Water is an essential part of a beach cleanup. In addition, you should have reusable containers to transport your garbage. To keep your volunteers happy, you can make snacks and drinks available to them.
Finally, check with the local police department to see if you need to obtain a permit. If you do, you should have a detailed schedule for your beach clean up.
If setting all of this up by yourself seems a little daunting, the South Carolina Adopt-A-Beach Program can help. On their site, you can register as a beach cleanup group, or find and join an existing one.
Publicizing Your Event
Having a pre-event press release is a great way to attract more people to your cleanup. The media advisory should be sent out about two to five days prior to the event. This will include a brief explanation of what the cleanup is all about. Include mentions of sponsors and elected officials. Ensure that you follow up by calling the recipients of the announcement to confirm receipt of the news.
Another good way to advertise your cleanup is to post the cleanup on social networking sites. Organize a Facebook event and share it with other community groups. Also, try to promote your event on local bulletin boards or town halls.
Organizing Your Volunteers
On the day of your beach cleanup, you should arrive early, well before any volunteers, so that you can assess the weather conditions and other variables that may affect your efforts. Make sure that there are no storms or other hazards that could put your team in danger. Also check and make sure there is enough parking for your volunteers and that clear driving directions have been given so that all of your helpers know how to get to the beach.
Greet all of your volunteers enthusiastically and thank them for their attendance. Even if you don’t know some of the volunteers well, you should still go out of your way to make them feel like a welcome and appreciated contributor to the event. After exchanging greetings, delegate the necessary tasks to your volunteers and field any questions. You’ll want to be sure that everyone is on the same page before you disperse to clean the beach.
Finally, don’t forget to have a great time! Maybe even bring a plant-based picnic to enjoy after your beach cleanup. By doing so, you will help to improve the environment, while you enjoy the scenery at the same time. It also keeps the spirits of your volunteers high!