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Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
Environmental Public Health

International Coastal Cleanup



Started in Texas in 1989, International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) has grown into an annual event that mobilizes millions of volunteers around the world to clean beaches, lakes, riversides and other waterways. In 2012 half a million volunteers cleaned up over ten million pounds of trash from eighteen thousand miles of waterways across the world. The cleanup effort included two million cigarettes, one million plastic bags, one million plastic bottles and five hundred thousand glass bottles. Read the Ocean Conservancy’s 2013 Report for complete details on last year’s cleanup activities.

I live in Nebraska, why should I care about the oceans? It’s true that the nearest ocean to Lancaster County is over one thousand miles away. Yet eighty percent of trash in the ocean starts out on land. Lancaster County litter can travel from storm drains to local lakes and rivers and potentially reach the ocean. Oceans full of trash affect the quality of life for people in Nebraska in several ways:

Litter and debris is also harmful to animals that call the ocean home. It destroys habitat (particularly coral reef), harms or kills animals through entanglement and ingestion and transports invasive species.

Each year hundreds of volunteers in Lincoln and Lancaster County participate in the International Coastal Cleanup to help keep local waterways healthy and safe. Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful (KLLCB) recruits volunteers in September and October to help clean litter and debris from local waterways. Groups with boats, canoes and kayaks are recruited to reach inaccessible areas. As part of the cleanups volunteers are asked to complete a data card to record the types and amounts of litter collected. Final tallies are sent to The Ocean Conservancy to be included in their annual international report. Data cards, trash bags and other cleanup equipment is provided by KLLCB.

If you value healthy lakes, rivers and oceans contact KLLCB at 402-441-8035 or e-mail: kllcb@lincoln.ne.gov to volunteer for the International Coastal Cleanup.


InterLinc City of Lincoln Departments Category Location

Health Environmental Public Health Environmental Quality KLLCB