Anna Maria Island – Across the shores of the world on every continent people have been participating in a fun, not so new, environmental movement called the two minute beach clean. From Russia to Australia, Ireland to Florida, and even Antarctica; when people head to the coast they are participating in the two minute beach clean.
In 2009 Martin Dorey of Cornwall England started a non profit organization called the beach clean network to support the two minute beach clean campaign. An avid lover of the beach and long time beach cleaner, Martin Dorey became discouraged when he felt his efforts weren’t enough to keep up with the constant stream of trash found on the shoreline. Martin Dorey though if he could get more people to pitch in the problem could be minimized, so he turned to social media. Martin Dorey began by tweeting out pictures of his findings from his trips to the shore, and eventually others started to catch on sharing their own pictures.
Now, six years after it began, the two minute beach clean has become a global campaign. Martin Dorey’s Beach Clean Network is completely run by volunteer efforts with the exception of a small grant from the organization Sea Changers to assist in building the Beach Clean Network website.
What is the two minute beach clean?
The two minute beach clean is exactly what is sounds like. When you get to the beach take two minutes and pick up as much trash as you can carry. When picking up trash be sure to always keep safety in mind. Gloves are a good idea during your beach clean, but not totally necessary. Always supervise children, and use caution when handling sharp objects. Buckets are a better container to hold trash as bags tear, and are less environmentally sound. When cleaning the beach if you come across dead or injured animals be sure not to touch it and contact the proper wildlife organization such as the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.
Why participate in the two minute beach clean?
You may think two minutes isn’t enough time to make a difference, but if everyone participates the impact is effective. Ridding beaches of litter is important to the health and economy of the world. Trash doesn’t only affect ocean life, but the health and well being of the human population. Plastics are of particular harm to the environment as they break down into pieces so tiny even plankton and other small forms of life mistake it as food. Plastic takes thousands of years to biodegrade, and leach toxins and chemicals in the process. All marine life is threatened by plastic; In fact, a new study conducted by the PNAS estimates that by 2050 up to 99% of Seabirds will be eating plastics.
The Take Away.
Next time you make a trip to the gorgeous shores of Anna Maria Island ask yourself if you have two minutes of time to spare. Chances are, since you are spending leisure time soaking up sun, splashing in clear gulf waters and relaxing on powder sand beaches, you probably have two minutes of your day to spare. Spending the day in tropical island paradise peppered with litter isn’t the ideal way to enjoy a day at the beach, so do your part, and join the two minute beach clean campaign today!