Salter Grove plays an important role in the struggle for the health of the oceans as one of the settings of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) organized by the Ocean Conservancy and Save the Bay.
Each year, volunteers around the world join together in both cleaning beaches and documenting the waste and pollution that they find. The Ocean Conservancy launched this project over 30 years ago.
Salter Grove is the site of three of the 30 ICC events this year planned by Save the Bay as the Rhode Island State Coordinator. The first took place on September 11, which also coincided with the National Day of Service and Remembrance commemorating the 2001 terrorism attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Another public volunteer cleanup is scheduled for September 25, and a corporate group will do a cleanup in October.
This year’s total is one event shy of the 2019 record, when Salter Grove hosted four ICC cleanups and over 70 volunteers.
Additional ICC events are happening around the state. Last year, even with the partial shutdown of activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 600 volunteers joined in the ICC, collecting more than 4,000 pounds of trash from Rhode Island Shores.
Top three trash items collected in 2020 RI International Coastal Cleanups:
11,662 cigarette butts
5,250 plastic pieces (under 2.5 centimeters)
2,623 plastic bottle caps
Source: 2020 International Coastal Cleanup / Rhode Island Report & Call To Action.
The efforts of individual volunteers and Save the Bay groups have improved the trash control situation at Salter Grove, but more needs to be done. Food and beverage packaging left behind by recreational visitors and washed in by the waves still pollutes the area and poses risks to wildlife.
Volunteer efforts are gradually bouncing back with the reopening of normal activity in the state. The number of volunteers per cleanup has returned to a little more than 60% of the 2019 average.
If you are interested in participating in a public cleanup and at least 13 years of age, visit Save the Bay and learn how to register.