The need for cleaner coastlines isn’t really breaking news–we all probably realize the urgency of reducing pollution in our oceans. However, recent studies reveal that the problem is actually a lot worse than we had previously envisioned: a new study estimates that 17 billion pounds of plastic flows into oceans every year! That’s 30 times what had previously been thought possible.
While this is clearly sobering, the good news is that there are opportunities for us to help, even those of us who don’t live near the coast. You see, pollution in all of our communities indirectly affects ocean systems. Trash is washed from sidewalks and streets into storm drains, which empty into streams and rivers. Eventually, those smaller waterways run to the ocean–that’s where much of those 17 billion pounds of plastic comes from! So, how can those of us who are worried about this cycle help out? That’s where the Shorecombers Trash Blast Leaders Workshop becomes an invaluable tool.
Shorecombers is a social enterprise that seeks to answer the question, “How can I make the biggest difference?” Project founder BJ Smith recognized, after her extensive involvement in community waterway clean-up events, that there was a lot of talent and motivation in the volunteer pool that was going to waste. With her background in business, she sought to create a training program for passionate people to learn skills they can take back to their communities. Instead of just managing a small, annual clean-up day, as is often the case, workshop participants will learn how to create clear plans of action and work smarter, not harder, to improve local clean water programs. According to Smith, “We train small groups and individuals because they are the foot soldiers most likely to carry out the work on the ground.”
The workshop is conducted virtually, so you don’t need to travel to a certain location to participate. They ask for a five-hour weekly time commitment: one hour teleseminar lecture, one hour teleseminar Q&A call, and three hours of homework. Here is a sneak peek of what will be covered in each lecture. Due to feedback from previous seminars, here are a few objectives that will be covered in upcoming sessions:
- Get out of the rut of cleaning the same places every year
- Work smarter not harder, control local program development, be proactive and not reactive
- Empower future advocates to create program continuity
- Become great organizers, create action plans and manage large projects
- An organized approach to learning with information specialized to your needs and your particular water body and shoreline
- Create dynamic and popular events all while doing what you love
If you’re interested in participating the workshop, this page includes the application. Shorecombers creates a cool opportunity for grassroots environmental enthusiasts to get the skills they need to be agents of change in their own communities!
Photo credit: Pixabay