As we all know, Earth Day’s 24 hours aren’t quite enough time to offset the damage done during the other 364 days. So the USA Olympic Surf Team and Wyland Foundation are partnering on a year-round eco-challenge, starting April 24.
On Saturday, April 24, from 8 to 11 a.m., the project will launch with ocean and waterway cleanups in California, Texas and Florida. If you’re not in one of these locales, you can still find a way closer to home to help. Cleaning up around your own gutters, sidewalks and storm drains is a first step to keeping debris out of waterways. Of course, if you have any kind of stream, creek, river, lake, marsh, pond, ocean beach or muddy ditch by your house, that’s a good place to start, too.
While ocean cleanup is a daunting task, everybody can help. As world-famous surfer Carissa Moore says in a PSA for the cleanup event, “I want to encourage you to do your part. Every little bit counts. When I was little I used to pick up three pieces of trash every time I went to the beach. Just imagine if we all did that what a huge difference that would make.”
For those who are most motivated when working together, check out Wyland’s My Volunteer Water Project webpage to create your own team or join an existing one. Team captains are responsible for setting the dates, goals and timelines for their teams. For those motivated by winning something, you can accrue points for your city in the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. A deserving charity in your city could even win a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
Environmental artist Wyland founded the Wyland Foundation in 1993. The 501c3 non-profit organization promotes, protects and preserves the world’s marine life and oceans. It hosts community events, public art projects and educational programs on environmental topics. For the last 10 years, Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation has promoted the health of U.S. waters.
Image via Sergei Tokmakov, Esq.