Reaching millions of people, micro-plastic pollution awareness has an official state holiday in Oregon. Celebrated for the first time on April 23rd, 2017, Oregon's Annual Coast Cleanup and Awareness Day was proclaimed by Governor Kate Brown. Working closely with Ocean Blue Project, the first iteration of the annual holiday was a huge success.
The largest beach plastic cleanup awareness event of its kind, plastic collected during the holiday is recycled and up-cycled into various reusable products. For example, two of Proctor and Gamble's top-selling shampoo brands, Pantene and Head & Shoulders, are being packaged in 25% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles using plastic collected from the annual event. Dedicated to finding sustainable solutions, the April 23rd Annual Oregon Coast Cleanup and Awareness Day reinforces the notion of using existing materials practically.
Ocean Blue Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) grassroots environmental non-profit organization. Working to protect and preserve the world's oceans, rivers, and beaches, the non-profit raises awareness on micro-plastic pollution. Headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon, the current CEO is Richard Arterbury. Ocean Blue Project's network of grassroots chapters focus on a variety of issues, such as beach and river preservation, plastic ocean pollution, water quality, and sustaining marine and coastal ecosystems.
Founded by Fleet and Richard Arterbury, Ocean Blue Project's first beach cleanup took place on June 8th, 2012. Collecting over 20,000 pounds of litter each year, from rivers and beaches around the world, the non-profit is committed to protecting and conserving the world's oceans. Using a holistic ecosystem-based approach, pollutants entering rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water are reduced. Additionally, erosion is prevented and wildlife habitat is maintained.
Saving the ocean, beaches, and rivers through education, awareness, and learning projects, Ocean Blue Project regularly hosts beach cleanups, wildlife enhancement projects, service learning projects, and other impactful activities. Focused on lowering the demand for manufactured plastic and keeping excess beach litter out of landfills, all collected plastic is recycled or up-cycled into reusable products.
With the goal of restoration, Ocean Blue Project works to improve biodiversity and create a self-supporting ecosystem resilient to disruption. Connecting people with their natural environment, participation in the non-profit is open to anyone. Involved with federal agencies, universities, industries, and additional partners, Ocean Blue Project actively seeks out new ways to raise awareness and reduce micro-plastic pollution.
Ocean Blue Project participates in a variety of projects to further raise awareness on environmental issues.