The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is an annual event conducted in 70-100 countries, coordinated by the US-based agency, The Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit organisation.
The programme aims to remove and collect data on the debris from the shorelines, waterways and beaches of the world's lakes, rivers and oceans. This information serves to educate the public on marine debris issues and to encourage positive change by submissions to governmental and international organisations that will reduce debris in waterways and enhance aquatic environments.
The International Coastal Cleanup, Singapore (ICCS) is coordinated by Toddycats! - volunteers of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (formerly the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research) of the National University of Singapore. The programme is strongly supported numerous local and international schools, institutions and government bodies, private organisations and corporate entities who have battled the curse of marine litter for almost two decades.
From its inception by the Nature Society (Singapore) in 1992, the annual ICCS sees some 3,500 ICCS volunteers from 70 organisations who work on 20,000 metres of Singapore’s shoreline, removing more than 180,00 pieces of trash in 2,200 trash bags weighing about 16,000kg!
The extent and scope of the ICCS has grown over the years, from beaches of East Coast, Pasir Ris and Changi Beach Parks, to pioneering mangrove cleanups in Mandai to the present day comprehensive coverage of the island, year-round cleanups and an enhanced education programme about the marine environment.
Media attention to the issues has helped raise awareness to combat this problem globally. Locally, television coverage has featured the issues frequently and articles such as "Here's the dirt on S'pore's beaches" and "Say no to plastic bags" has greatly helped raise awareness. See the "News from the ICCS" blog at coastalcleanup.wordpress.com for more stories.
The program welcomes the participation of any individual or group in a variety of roles. Committed individuals can consider roles as Zone or Site Captains, who help coordinate cleanups at specific sites. Any organisation or individual is welcome to use, collaborate or contribute to our education programmes about marine life and the threat of marine trash. Just contact us!
Thinking of joining the cleanup?
N. Sivasothi talks at the first Festival of Biodiversity (2012) about
"Trash on the Beach, 21 Years of Community Action on the Shores of Singapore"