STEVENSVILLE — In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kent Island Beach Cleanups is switching from in-person to virtual cleanups every Saturday for all of May and June. Grab a bag or bucket and head to the beach starting this Saturday, May 16.
Volunteers are invited to pick up trash at any local beach, park or road. Take photos, tag Kent Island Beach Cleanups — KIBCU and use the hashtag #KIBCUdashfortrash to show your progress and be featured on the group’s social media pages and website.
“Due to COVID-19, maintaining social distancing, and the Executive Orders put in place for the state of Maryland, we cannot legally, safely and effectively host in-person cleanups at this time. We generally have a large turnout of volunteers of all ages, and we would not be in compliance with the current state regulations if we held any cleanups,” KIBCU founder Kristin Weed said in a statement.
“We continue to see trash build up within our community and on our beaches. It is extremely frustrating that we can’t host cleanups with our volunteers. We made the decision to promote virtual cleanups indefinitely, until we hear more from our state officials and we feel it is safe,” she continued. “Although we are all not together, we can still help our beaches, watershed, and Chesapeake Bay by picking up debris on your own. This counts for anywhere you see pollution. You may think it doesn’t help, but it does. If everyone were to pick up, it would make a huge impact.”
Personal cleanups don’t have to take place only on Saturdays — any day is fine, Weed said. What matters is picking up the trash.
Student participants can still get credit for volunteer hours. In order to qualify, participants must:
1.) Tag Kent Island Beach Cleanups — KIBCU in every photo
2.) Use the hashtag: #KIBCUdashfortrash in every photo
3.) Mention the area you cleaned
4.) Text KIBCU when you have completed your cleanup at 410-458-1240 and provide your first and last name, email address, school and a screenshot of a photo from InstaGram or Facebook with the tags. Weed will then email you a letter after the cleanup event in which you took part.
Volunteers can also log the trash they collect. Download Clean Swell app from Ocean Conservancy and use the Group Name: Kent Island Beach Cleanups.
“We will be cleaning with you out there somewhere,” Weed said.