Kristin Weed, President & co-Founder
“You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
In the fall of 2012, I conducted my first beach cleanup for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) through the Ocean Conservancy. The ICC is a worldwide cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, where people, groups, and volunteer organizations from all over the world gather together on one day to clean a local beach, stream, bay, etc…The groups count every piece of trash they pick up and log it onto a data card. The data cards are tallied by the site captain and then given to the Ocean Conservancy. At the end of the year, a report is developed and published showing the worldwide results of all of the cleanups. The data is used to raise awareness, develop policy solutions, and define, specifically, what types of debris are found in definite areas of the world. The information is also used to determine if there are any uncommon pollution events. I thought, “What a great way to get involved.”
I contacted the Ocean Conservancy and asked how to get involved. They explained that they had been looking for someone to act as a site captain on the Eastern Shore for their Coastal Cleanups, and there it began! They put me in touch with 4 other local volunteers and we got together to clean up Terrapin Beach Park. The other volunteers and I cleaned up over 20+ bags of trash in less than 3 hours. People visiting the park stopped and told us stories of how they used to see people cleaning the beach years ago, but that they hadn’t seen a group there in a while. Many even jogged by and just yelled “thank you!” It was honestly the most fulfilling feeling I had ever had. I thought to myself, “I can’t stop here. I am going to make this my hobby…my mission going forward.”
Since then, I have been organizing cleanups at least 1-2 times a month on Kent Island. I have become extremely active in protecting, advocating, and maintaining our beaches. Now I am a full force advocate for protecting our waterways, and I believe ALL of us have a responsibility to protect our environment in any way that we can.
I now ask you to think about what is important to you? What do you do in your free time to help improve the status of our environment? No matter where you live, your actions (or lack thereof) do affect our Chesapeake Bay. You don’t have to live on or near the water for this to touch you like it touched me. Think about what you can do to make yourself a better human being? Ask yourself, what can you do to better our planet? Don’t think it doesn’t matter or it’s not your problem because it is. I am asking for your help to continue to protect our sacred waters here in Maryland! And that can simply start with getting involved. So come get involved with Kent Island Beach Cleanups. You never know where this journey may take us!