Beach Bucket Brigade 2020

  • Location
    Selden, New York
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

Last year we started the Beach Bucket Brigade, a community outreach program designed encourage the public to clean up Long Island\\\'s beaches and to educate people about making healthier, eco-friendly choices. We\\\'re proud to say that last year, with the help of 300 volunteers, at 7 of our beach clean up events, we removed over 23,000 pieces of litter. Most of this was plastic, and an emphasis of ours will continue to be teaching participants about alternatives to single use plastic.

Our Plan

The main focus of our program is to lend beach-goers reusable buckets that they will fill with litter found throughout their day at the beach. When participants return their filled buckets to us, as a thank you, they will be rewarded with raffle tickets for eco-friendly products to help the planet. Beach-goes can earn raffle tickets by filling buckets with the litter and doing some fun activities to go along with that. The more bucketfuls, the more raffle tickets! Along with the borrow-able buckets, participants may receive a booklet designed by us, that encourages environmentally friendly practices.

Themes Addressed

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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Well, it was a very different spring and summer because of the social distancing required by the Covid pandemic. But we did our share to reduce the spread by reaching out to our Beach Bucket Brigadiers remotely and encouraging them to conduct their own private clean-ups. We ran a remote Summer Quest on our Facebook page with a new weekly activity for participants to print out. Each activity was centered on caring for the environment. For example, one week we asked volunteers to examine their daily habits and find ways to make earth-friendlier choices. Another week, we encouraged people to keep a list of wildlife sightings. And another week we provided a bird-seed-cake recipe for our feathered friends. All in all, we had 10 weeks of activities. Participants took photos of their completed activity sheets and messaged them to us. These became "virtual raffle tickets" for our end of summer remote raffle. In the summer of 2019, at the end of our public clean-ups, raffles were very popular among our volunteers, so our Remote Summer Quest was the next best thing.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned, despite obstacles of not being able to conduct big public clean-ups like last year, we were able to use social media to still involve the community in learning about the environment and helping to care for it.

What I/we might change:

Hoping we'll be back to those big public clean-ups next spring! But we'll continue to utilize social media to reach everyone interested in learning info about conservation and ways to help.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Our favorite part of the Summer Quest project was hearing stories from our Beach Bucket Brigadiers about how they were incorporating the activities into their daily lives, and how it was helping people get more interested in nature which many found so therapeutic in these challenging times.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Think outside the box! Get creative, take chances, and keep on learning :)

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