The Coca-Cola Foundation has announced a $1 million, multiyear pledge to the Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup ICC), a global volunteer event designed to help rid the planet's oceans, rivers, and lakes of unwanted trash and debris.
The grant will be used to help expand the volunteer base. For the past thirteen years, Coca-Cola has sponsored ICC, through which more than 100 million pounds of marine litter have been removed from 170,000 miles of beaches and inland waterways since 1986. Last year, 378,000 volunteers in seventy-six countries removed 6 million pounds of marine debris, which kills a million seabirds and a hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles each year through ingestion and entanglement.
In addition, the grant will provide for more efficient data submission and management and help establish a new Web site for the ICC network. Each year, ICC volunteers also gather data on the types of debris collected, which the conservancy includes in an annual report designed to help the public, industry, and government officials understand the issue.
"We are excited about our continued support to the Ocean Conservancy and for our associates to participate as volunteers in the world's largest waterway cleanup," said Coca-Cola Foundation chair Ingrid Saunders Jones. "Our support allows Ocean Conservancy to enhance its global education initiatives, increase public awareness, and change behaviors around litter, pollution, and marine debris."