B-CU Students Aid International Coastal Cleanup and Data Collection
The annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the world’s largest volunteer effort in removing trash from oceans and waterways. The cleanup is sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy and supported by municipalities, local businesses and environmentally-conscious organizations. Volunteering this year, B-CU had 12 students and three faculty members to participate.
B-CU students and faculty spent their Saturday documenting each piece of debris. These data were compiled into a comprehensive report and were included in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual Ocean Trash Index. The Ocean Trash Index is the world’s largest item-by-item accounting of coastal trash and is correlated by location, and serves as a global snapshot of the marine debris littering our coasts and waterways. Clean Swell is a mobile data collection app, and lets individuals quickly and easily add data to Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database while at the beach. The database provides conservation groups, governments, industry leaders, policy makers, researchers and scientists with information that may help them to manage trash accumulation based on location. In addition to clearing and cataloguing items found on the beach, students also learned about beach ecology and were able to explore the unique plants and animals that are typically overlooked by beach goers.
The cleanup was organized by Dr. Yungkul Kim, Ph.D. from the Department of Integrated Environmental Science & Department of Natural Sciences, College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics (CSEM).
“The process of organizing, preparing for and participating in the ICC event has provided an excellent opportunity for close engagement between students and faculty, not only outside classroom but also off campus, which is one of the key factors in positive student outcomes. Volunteering for the ICC has provided students and faculty a great community service opportunity, which helps improve the quality of our communities,” said Kim.
Student participants were Tatyana Canty, Yeralis Goby, Mecca James, Kelsey Jones, Hillary Lewis, Angel Prince, Rashida Talib, Alisia Sayles, Ayanna Smith, Mervia Soius, Sophie Soius and Takeria Thompson. In addition to Kim, faculty members who participated in the cleanup were Sarah Krejci, Ph.D, Department of Natural Sciences and Department of Integrated Environmental Science (CSEM) and Donald Spence, Ph.D., Department of Integrated Environmental Science (CSEM).