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 It is one of the world's largest annual preservation and protection events and volunteer efforts for our ocean, waves and beaches. Volunteers will be working across the globe to help cleanup our coasts.

How YOU can help!

The Salish Sea School is asking you to participate in International Coastal Cleanup Month by doing a local, outdoor trash pick-up! 



Complete the following 5 easy steps and earn a special Salish Sea School "Puffin Protector" Sticker!


1. Simply choose one day in September to spend time cleaning up trash at a beach, river, park, or neighborhood - it is all connected to our watershed!


2. Collect data on what you find (using the data sheets below).


3. Share a picture of your cleanup efforts with us and earn our special Puffin Protector sticker! (Be sure to tag us on social media @thesalishseaschool #guardiansofthesea #solobeachcleanup #thesalishseaschool)

4. Tell us one thing you will commit to do to reduce your use of single-use plastics.


5. Email your data sheets, ways you will commit to reduce single-use plastics, and pictures to  Get in touch with any questions!


 Please remember the COVID-19 cleanup safety precautions listed below.

DATA SHEETS found here - Email your completed forms to

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Why YOU Should Help!


Because you will earn our awesome "Puffin Protector" sticker!  Ok, ok while we think our sticker is pretty rad, that is defintely not the biggest reason to get involved. 


Marine wildlife are near and dear to our hearts and we know that trash/plastics is a huge problem for our beloved ocean-dwelling creatures.


Furthermore, many plastics used in common items such as shopping bags and water bottles absorb large amounts of chemicals found in our waters, which can be toxic to marine life that unknowingly ingest them, especially seabirds. 


Seabirds are declining faster than any other bird group and plastics in the oceans are believed to be one cause. 

Here are a few suggested articles: 

Seabirds that eat plastic—and live—have major health problems

Nearly Every Seabird on Earth is Eating Plastic

Creatures in the deepest trenches of the sea are eating plastic

Ocean Trash: 5.25 Trillion Pieces and Counting

Want Bonus Points?

Stop purchasing one or two single-use plastic products! 

Take a look around your house and you will notice just how many single-use plastic items there are - food packaging, new product packaging, toothbrushes, toothpastes, pens, shampoos, soaps, floss, plastic wrap, and much more!


It isn't always easy to avoid single-use plastics; they are just so darn convenient!


We recommend starting with one or two product swaps at a time.


Here are two easy swaps to begin to move away from single-use plastic items.




ECO-FRIENDLY SWAP #1: Plastic Toothbrush to a Bamboo Toothbrush


3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold worldwide each year. These toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon and can take up to 500 years or more to decompose.   


There are three things you can do to be part of the solution: 1. Try out bamboo brushes—and dispose of them correctly!  2. Choose a brush with a reusable handle.  3. Write to your favorite company and ask them to develop plastic-free options

Learn more at National Geographic.





ECO-FRIENDLY SWAP #2 Plastic Wrap to BeesWax Wrap and Re-useable Glass Containers


It may save your sandwich, but it is polluting the planet. It is difficult to recycle and is made from potentially harmful chemicals, especially as they break down in the environment.  They do a great job of picking up bacteria and metals, which make it into our fish and ultimately our food! 


There are three things you can do to be part of the solution:  1. Switch from plastic wrap to a reusable wax wrap.  2. Store leftovers in glass containers.3. Cover foods with aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap. Learn more at National Geographic




Note: When searching for items that will reduce your at-home use of single-use plastics, you can now support us through Amazon Smile!  Through Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% on every eligible purchase to The Salish Sea School—and there are no fees or extra costs.  Just an extra on the link or search for us under Amazon Smile, then shop, and smile knowing you are also supporting our student programs!

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Reminder: Please remember to dispose of your masks and PPE properly.

This includes clipping the straps of disposable masks and ensuring all equipment makes it safely inside of a trashcan.


Picture from RCPA, article found here.

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Thanks for all you do for our oceans!

Please remember the following safety precautions:


Participation in a solo cleanup event is voluntary and solely at a participant’s own risk, including risk associated with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Individuals should only participate to the extent that they can comply with applicable federal, state, and local rules and restrictions, and the below required practices including physical distancing.


The following rules must be followed to ensure individuals are equipped to make an educated, safe and mindful decision to conduct a solo cleanup while following CDC public health guidance, local beach access restrictions, and EPA recommendations for properly discarding used PPE items.


Be responsible! If you are feeling sick or generally unwell, please stay indoors and heal.


What to bring: mask/cloth face covering, gloves, 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, grabbers (if you have them), 2 separate collection receptacles.


Check with your local authority on beach use and access restrictions. Select a location where you can maintain a minimum physical distance of 6 feet. Avoid crowded areas at crowded times.


Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public per CDC recommendations.

Wear gloves. We cannot stress this safety precaution enough. Viruses can live on hard surfaces, and individuals should exercise extreme caution when collecting litter. Wearing gloves discourages you from touching your face or face covering. If using reusable gloves, be sure to properly sanitize between uses.


Effective sanitization of a reusable glove depends on the material. Individuals should comply with CDC and EPA guidance on how to effectively sanitize reusable items against COVID-19.


Grabbers are a good way to minimize contact between your gloves and trash items. Sanitize these after use and before transport or storage.


Refrain from touching your face or public surfaces during the cleanup.

Improperly discarded Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes, or other medical waste should be handled and properly discarded following very strict protocol.


It’s important that all PPE items collected are properly disposed of following CDC and EPA guidance. If you feel comfortable handling such items, use grabbers and place the PPE items in the receptacle separate from recyclables collected. Used PPE should be tightly sealed in a trash bag and discarded in a lined and secure trash receptacle. PPE items should not be recycled due to possible contamination.

Remember to use hand sanitizer after the cleanup is over, then wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds as soon as you’re able to do so.


Remember to properly disinfect all reusable equipment before and after the cleanup using an EPA-approved product for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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